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Really Chris Bosh, Is This How It Ends?

twitterCheck out this tweet from Chris Bosh's Twitter account earlier this evening.

bosh

I'm so glad our franchise player has decided to ask his Twitter followers where he should play next season. He wasn't specific, so I'm not sure if the city with the highest vote total wins his services.

This is the way the Bosh era ends: Not with a bang but a Twitter.

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My Favourite Television Characters of All-Time (With Quotes!)

tvI just wrote about George Costanza. That got me thinking about my favourite television characters of all time.

I'm listing these ten here in no particular order. You may commence judging my ten favourite television characters..... now.

omarOmar Little,
~ The Wire

Favourite quote:
"'Cause I know she ain't gonna never go down there to go dining, that's why! Hey, yo, Kimmy, this ain't funny, yo! That woman raised me! And for as long as I been grown, once a month I been with her on a church Sunday, telling myself ain't no need to worry, 'cause ain't nobody in this city that lowdown to disrespect a Sunday morning!"


donDon Draper,
~ Mad Men

Favourite quote:
"The reason you haven't felt it is because it doesn't exist. What you call love was invented by guys like me, to sell nylons. You're born alone and you die alone and this world just drops a bunch of rules on top of you to make you forget those facts. But I never forget. I'm living like there's no tomorrow, because there isn't one."


ryanRyan O'Reily,
~ Oz

Favourite quote:
"Hey, I'm a man of logic; I'm a man of planning. I consider every detail; I factor in every possibility. Then I flip a coin."


georgeGeorge Costanza,
~ Seinfeld

Favourite quote:
"It's not a lie, if you believe it."


hankHank Kingsley,
~ The Larry Sanders Show

Favourite quote:
"For your information Miss Smartypants, I've been thinking about dropping Alzheimer's for 5 years - c'mon guys, where's the cure?"


tonyTony Soprano,
~ The Sopranos

Favourite quote:
"Even if God is dead, you're going to kiss his ass."


homerHomer Simpson,
~ The Simpsons

Favourite quote:
"Life is just one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead."
More Homer Simpson Quotes


mikeMike Logan,
~ Law & Order

Favourite quote:
"My mother used to hold a rosary in one hand while she beat me with the other. The next time I enter a church, six of my closest buddies will be carrying me."


jimmyJimmy McNulty,
~ The Wire

Favourite quote:
"Baker, Let me let you in on a little secret, The patrolling officer on his beat is the one true dictatorship in America, we can lock a guy up on the humble, lock him up for real, or say fuck it and drink ourselves to death under the expressway and our side partners will cover us, No one - I mean no one - tells us how to waste our shift!"


johnnyDr. Johnny Fever,
~ WKRP in Cincinnati

Favourite quote:
"Doctor Johnny Fever, and I am burnin' up in here! Whoo! Whoo! We all in critical condition, babies, but you can tell me where it hurts, 'cause I got the healing prescription here from the big 'KRP musical medicine cabinet. Now I am talking about your 50,000 watt intensive care unit, babies! So just sit right down, relax, open your ears real wide and say, "Give it to me straight, Doctor, I can take it!"


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George (It Always Comes Back to George)

TVSomeone rearranged Seinfeld to create a dramatic movie trailer.

I can't remember the last day of work which didn't include several Seinfeld references. Seinfeld is the gift that keeps on giving. It's a scientifically proven fact that you can't skip on by a Seinfeld rerun when channel surfing. Seinfeld is, without a doubt, one of the funniest television programs every produced.

George made my now outdated 2004 list of top five television characters. I love George, and I love this trailer.

Enjoy.

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I'm Sure I'd Really Like Paul Gross As A Friend, But...

moviesMaybe I'm still upset with Paul Gross because of Passchendaele. That link goes to my review of the film, which is rather scathing. Here's an excerpt, with a big fat 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.

Lately I've been cringing at the sight of the trailer for Paul Gross's latest film, Gunless. It looks horrible. Here's the trailer.

It turns out he's the star, not the director, but my instincts are correct. Early reviews suggest it's another dog with fleas.

I'm not trying to rail on Paul Gross here, because the fact is, I think I'd really like him were I to have a coffee and chat with the man. I have a feeling he's a genuinely nice guy and we'd be buds.

But Passchendaele was unforgivable, and Gunless doesn't seem fit for public consumption.

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Pool Update: After Round One

puckWith the opening round complete, let's take a look at what's going on in my annual NHL playoff pool.

We'll start with Joe. Joe decided to bank on Coyotes, Kings and Avs... with a sure-thing first round pick of Washington's Nicklas Bäckström. This decision gave Joe a very strong opening round of 44 points. That's also Joe's final score. Joe lost all ten of his players in the first round.

In hindsight, dear Joe, what the hell were you thinking? Coyotes, Kings and Avs? Were you trying to finish last?

Everyone else still has horses in the race. Dom leads with his ace picks being Crosby and Samuelsson. Ryan's in second, thanks to Malkin, Pavelski and Zetterberg. I've got some work to do, but the Sedin twins have worked out.

Poor Joe...

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Montreal Loses (to TFC)

tfcIf you read this blog, you know where I was last night. I was at BMO field watching Toronto FC defeat the Montreal Impact 2-0. In my game, Montreal lost last night.

22 people bought tickets in my section, so I want to thank Jonathan from MLSE for giving me this opportunity. I just wish I had scarfs for everybody. Still, it was a great match and a lot of fun to see everybody at the game. At halftime, we even got to go field-level.

I'm just glad I completely missed the other game. You know the game I'm talking about. I would have hated watching that game, and thanks to TFC, I didn't catch a second of it.

Here are some pics from last night. I'm hoping to do this again some time. That was a lot of fun for $40.

TFC vs. Montreal TFC vs. Montreal TFC vs. Montreal TFC vs. Montreal

TFC vs. Montreal

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Anne Mroczkowski to Co-host Global Toronto News Hour ‎

tvMitch called the shot on this blog. In the comments of my entry about Anne Mroczkowski leaving City-TV, he wrote this:

I was the one who posted info about Anne's new gig on her wikipedia page a little while back, however it was deleted after Anne's CBC "The Current" interview, where she said that she doubted that she would have another career on camera. However, sources of mine have told me that Anne will be on camera once again "in less than 3 weeks." So, it looks like the odds of seeing Anne back SOMEWHERE by the end of April is quite likely.

Mitch, who's only 14, nailed it. Anne Mroczkowski joins Global Toronto News Hour where she will co-anchor with Leslie Roberts starting June 1.

Congratulations Anne Mroczkowski and congratulations Mitch!

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3.5 Inch Floppy Disks, Rest in Peace

3.5 inchSony has decided to stop making 3.5-inch floppy disks. That's it, put a fork in this format, it's done.

Of course, the 3.5 inch floppy has been dead for quite some time. When was the last time you used one?

Last year, while cleaning my basement, I came across some old 3.5 inch floppies. There was a time floppy disks held my entire digital photo collection and was the primary way to get Word and Excel docs from A to Z.

The floppy disk may be dead, but it's still the de facto save icon.

Floppy Disks

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World Series Fallacy

MLBAs a kid, I was always enamoured with baseball trivia. I specialized in Blue Jays team trivia and overall record holders. I was very, very good.

In some trivia book I read that the World Series got its name because it was originally sponsored by the New York World newspaper. Trivia books were how I got my information. You kids and your World Wide Web wouldn't understand.

I believed this fact about the New York World newspaper until this past weekend when I read on Wikipedia that this simply isn't true. World Series is a shortened form of the phrase "world's championship series," nothing more.

I've carried that false factoid around for 25 years.

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Your Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact Primer

tfcOn Wednesday night, Toronto FC begins its campaign to repeat as Canadian Champions against the Montreal Impact at BMO Field. Soccer can be a confusing sport for those used to North America style seasons as teams compete in multiple tournaments and championships concurrently. TFC became the Canadian Champions last year in dramatic style with a victory over Montreal last year in La Belle Province 6-1 to edge out Vancouver on goal differential. In what was a legendary win for TFC and their supporters, it was a match that created a heated rivarly between Vancouver and Montreal supporters with the claim that the Impact threw the game by resting players in advance of their USL match later that week. TFC flamed out in the next round of the CONCACAF Champions League.

To understand the significance of tomorrow's match, here is a Toronto FC primer Elvis wrote about a year ago. Enjoy!

Football clubs exist to win trophies – lots and lots of trophies. Football is unique in the sense that there are multiple tournaments and competitions happening concurrently.

Let’s look at Toronto FC and try and make sense of the different trophies they can win.

Toronto FC plays 30 matches in league play, competing for the Supporters' Shield, which would be the same as the NHL’s President’s Trophy. While this is generally seen as the kiss of death in the NHL come playoff time, the Supporters’ Shield, awarded to the best team in the league, is very prestigious. To be the best in the league over the course of 30 games is viewed to be, at least, on par with winning the playoffs. To contrast, in England, to win the Premiership (their President’s Trophy) is more coveted than winning the FA Cup (their Stanley Cup). You’d ideally want to win both but if given the choice, most Supporters and Clubs would choose the Premiership. The MLS, being North American, isn’t quite at that point (yet) so winning the playoffs is still the biggest trophy to win. The MLS Cup (the Stanley Cup, the FA Cup) is a one match championship to crown the winner of the playoffs at a neutral site.

So, we’re at two trophies – the MLS Cup and the Supporter’s Shield.

TFC also competes in the Trillium Cup – a (made-up) competition between the Columbus Crew and TFC during the regular season. No additional matches are played – the Trillium Cup is awarded to the winner of the regular season series (3 matches) of the two clubs.

Phew, that’s three trophies up for grabs now.

That brings us to the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, otherwise known as the Voyageur’s Cup. The Voyageur’s Cup was created in 2002 by the Voyageurs, a Canadian Supporter Club which was founded in 1996. Recognising a need for a national championship in Canada, the Voyageur’s Cup was awarded to the best Canadian team in the USL, the only professional soccer league in Canada until the MLS arrived in Toronto three years ago. The winners of the Cup were the Montreal Impact, through no additional tournament or games were played but was based on the fact that they finished ahead of the Toronto Lynx, Vancouver Whitecaps, Calgary Storm/Mustangs and the Edmonton Aviators in the USL. The Impact won every Voyageur’s Cup to 2007 – that’s an impressive 6-0.

In 2007, the CSA decided, with the addition of a high profile professional club in Canada, it was time for a tournament. The USL’s Vancouver Whitecaps, Montreal Impact and the MLS’ Toronto FC compete in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship during the months of May and June. These games happen outside of each of their respective leagues and thus, have usually occurred on Wednesday evenings. The winner of the inaugural Nutrilite Canadian Championship was the Montreal Impact with 7 points out of a possible 12. TFC ended up with 5 points and Vancouver had 4. This was considered to be a huge upset as MLS is regarded to be a skill level above the USL. This format will remain in place for 2009 and 2010 and then re-negotiated – they may or may not expand the teams involved.

Ok, now that’s four. Supporter’s Shield, MLS Cup, Trillium Cup & Voyageur’s Cup. With me still?

Depending on where Toronto FC finishes in the table during the regular season, they could qualify for the Superliga competition. Superliga puts the best clubs in Mexico against the best clubs from MLS. To qualify, Toronto FC must finish in top four of the table. This is different than the qualification rules for their US counterparts as MLS has changed the rules for qualification to the CONCACAF Champions League wherein teams cannot compete for both the Superliga and Champions League trophies. So, much like the UEFA Cup ranks below the UEFA Champions League in prestige, the same applies here for the Superliga and Champions League.

Wait a minute, what’s the CONCACAF Champions League? This is a 24 club, super Championship made up of clubs from North and Central America and the Caribbean. From North America, four clubs qualify from Mexico, four clubs from MLS and 1 club from Canada.

How does the Canadian club qualify differently from the US clubs? The winner of the Voyageur’s Cup is automatically entered into the CONCACAF Champions League.

We’re up to six trophies - Supporter’s Shield, MLS Cup, Trillium Cup, Voyageur’s Cup, Superliga and Champions League.

Finally, if Toronto FC wins the CONCACAF Champions League, they are entered into the FIFA Club World Cup which takes place in Japan.

Seven trophies over a 12 month span for Toronto FC – at times you might need a map to figure out what match means what but the beauty of it is that there is no one way to measure success of your football club. What a beautiful game.

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8 Seats Remain for Wednesday Night #tfc

tfcSo I mentioned I've got a little section at BMO Field for this Wednesday night's match against Montreal. I honestly had no idea what to expect when Jonathan scored me the block of 15 seats in the new North end grandstand.

It turns out there are still 8 seats remaining. The first three of those will even get a cool TFC scarf. Now is the time for you to cough up $40 and join me for TFC on Wednesday night.

Click here to buy tickets Special Offer Code: Mike

C'mon guys and gals, let's do this.

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Simpsons Sum Up Fear on Chalkboard

homerHere's a screen cap from last night's episode of The Simpsons.

SOUTH PARK - WE'D STAND BESIDE YOU IF WE WEREN'T SO SCARED

simpsons

It hard to fault the lack of support. This is truly some scary shit. In the heavily censored South Park episode that aired last week, the joke was that Muhammad was dressed as a bear because he could not be shown as a cartoon in the wake of death threats made against Danish cartoonists by Islamist extremists. That's when the death threats started and why Comedy Central beeped out every reference made to Muhammad when the show finally aired.

And on one chalkboard, the folks behind The Simpsons explained why there isn't more outrage. One needs to look no further than Theo van Gogh.

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Hostess Chips WWF Stickers

RewindYouTube 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.

In 1987, there was a Hostess potato chips promotion where you'd get a WWF sticker in each bag. My buds and I bought a bag a day collecting these things. I always bought hot bbq and I remember the small bags were only 45¢.

Those were the days.


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One Down, One To Go (Or Why the Sens Suck)

stanleycupThis has been a rather gruelling stretch for us Leafs fans. The last fun playoff moment for my team was April 20, 2004. Here's my recap of our easy 4-1 win over the Senators in game 7.

Go Leafs Go!I would like to bottle this euphoric feeling I have right now in order to preserve it for moments in the future I'm feeling less joyous. What a fantastic night. For the fourth time in five years, the Ottawa Senators are going home early from the Stanley Cup playoffs thanks to my beloved Maple Leafs. Ottawa is 0-4 in series against Toronto and 0-4 in Game 7s overall.

Lest we forget Daniel Alfredsson's promise to win this series tonight at the ACC. Alfredsson, like the rest of his teammates, were all but invisible tonight. They have proven time and time again that they aren't built for the playoffs and can't win when it matters most. At the trade deadline, there was much speculation the Senators would upgrade between the pipes as Patrick Lalime was showing himself to be rather inconsistent. Staying with Lalime would prove to be their downfall. Tonight, in the most important game of the season, Lalime was horrible while Maple Leaf goaltender Eddie Belfour shone bright. Belfour was brilliant throughout the series and is the biggest reason I'm sitting here right now with a huge smile on my face.

Eddie! Eddie! Eddie! Eddie! Eddie! Eddie! Eddie! Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!

Toronto wins series 4-3

The next day, I collected the reaction from the Ottawa press. The Sens had choked once more, and proven they can't beat the Leafs when it matters most. It was another collapse for a franchise with a rich history of collapses.

Fast forward to last night... I watched every second of the Pens vs. Sens, wondering when the Penguins would start trying. It looked awfully bad for Leafs fans, who root as passionately against the Sens and Habs as they do for the blue and white. But, the world reset itself, as it's apt to do. The Pens started trying, came back to force overtime, and ousted the Sens in six games.

When Pascal Dupuis scored 9:56 into overtime, eliminating the Senators from the playoffs, I cheered at the top of my lungs. In essence, it was a Leafs victory. When the Leafs aren't around come spring time, we root for ABO and ABM: Anybody But Ottawa and Anybody But Montreal. The Sens are done, and tomorrow I'll be a Caps fan cheering passionately for a Habs loss.

We're six years removed from our last playoffs, but there's still plenty to cheer about in the Barilkosphere. The Sens still choke.

Happiness

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Toronto Transit Civility Commission TTC Etiquette Campaign

TTCThe National Post has formed the Toronto Transit Civility Commission to help promote TTC etiquette. They've made printable posters that remind riders not to clip their nails, to apply deodorant and that backpacks don't get their own seat.

The TTC has a notoriously poor sense of humour, so I doubt they'll allow these posters to be displayed on TTC property. Still, it's a good idea.

ttcc poster

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The Mayor of Montreal Chimes In On The Habs

PuckSomehow, against all odds, the Montreal Canadiens have forced a sixth game in their series against Washington. They've exceeded all expectations, but that doesn't mean the mayor of Montreal is happy.

Here's the mayor of Montreal chiming in on the Habs.


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Gowan's 25th Anniversary of What Exactly?

musicI keep hearing an ad on the radio promoting Lawrence Gowan's concert in celebration of the 25th anniversary of his album Strange Animal.

As I recall, and I was listening to a tonne of Top 40 radio in 1985 (680 CFTR!), Strange Animal spawned two local hits: "A Criminal Mind" and "(You're a) Strange Animal". I really liked "A Criminal Mind", especially the video I caught on Toronto Rocks almost every afternoon, and "(You're a) Strange Animal" was an okay single, but is this album worthy of a tour to celebrate its release 25 years ago?

Of course not. That's just silly. Strange Animal was not Rubber Soul or Dark Side of the Moon or even Appetite for Destruction. It was decent Cancon that spawned two radio singles. Nothing more.

Here's that awesome video for "A Criminal Mind".


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Broken Social Scene - Forced to Love

videoYou can hear Broken Social Scene's new album, Forgiveness Rock Record, in its entirety at NPR. I like how they opened their article about BSS.

It's hard to deny the influence of Toronto's expansive independent music community. As a vital part of the last decade's Canadian rock explosion, Toronto has been an incubator for the likes of Feist, Jason Collett, Stars and Metric; in the process, it's become a part of indie-rock folklore. At its center is Broken Social Scene, which functions as the connective tissue for a sprawling array of satellite acts.

Broken Social Scene performed "Forced to Love" on Letterman the other day. Check it out.

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Epic Onestop Found at C:\Windows\Media\onestop.mid

mouseThere's a MIDI sequence sound file on your Windows pc that you probably don't know exists. It's called onestop.mid and you'll find it at C:\Windows\Media\.

Onestop was composed by David Yackley and it's been found in Windows since XP, possibly earlier.

dontquestion

If you're on a Mac or running Linux, you can listen to Onestop here:


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Join me at TFC vs. Montreal for $40 - Insanely Awesome Special Promo

TFCMy friend Jonathan, who works for TFC, has set-up a special section for me and my friends, because he knew I really wanted to come check out a game. You all know how hard it is to get tickets to TFC matches, so this is pretty cool.

The ticket for Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact on Wednesday night at 8pm is 40 bucks and the seats are in the new North End grandstand which are great seats with awesome sightlines. Space is limited. first come, first served.

Click here to buy tickets Special Offer Code: Mike

I’ve also got ten 2010 Official Season Scarves, for the first ten who buy a ticket. And I've arranged for us to get on the field during halftime, which is pretty cool. And we are saving all Ticketmaster fees (approx $22 for a pair) by using this online process.

Also, so many of you are just names who comment or email me, or Twitter handles. It might be neat to meet in the real-world so long as you promise not to murder me.

Getting tickets to TFC matches is next to impossible, and it's the best live sporting experience in the city. I owe Jonathan for this one...

Montreal Merda

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Head's Up - You're Going to See TFC Wednesday Night

TFCI'm on the record as saying Toronto FC is the greatest live sporting experience in the city. If you've never been to a TFC match at BMO Field, you're going Wednesday night.

I've got a hook-up at MLSE who's giving me a section. It's in the new north end grandstand and the sightlines are stellar. Our game is Wednesday night against Montreal and it's gonna be crazy fun.

This is just your head's up. I'll post the official entry with the registration link as soon as I get it. For $40, you don't just get in to see the game, but I've got TFC scarves and we'll all get to go down to the field at half-time.

I have absolutely no idea how many of you will commit to this, but I'm hoping a whole bunch of you join me. This'll be fun.

Who wants to join me at BMO Field Wednesday night for TFC madness?

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Rocco Rossi's Sympatico Spam

emailI just got an email from Rocco Rossi regarding his Toronto mayoral campaign. The subject line reads "A message from Rocco Rossi on Practical Change" and it's identified as "a special paid message for sympatico.ca special offers subscribers.

Here's a screen cap of the email, sent to my personal email account. Click it to see it full-sized.

Gmail---A-message-from-Rocco-Rossi-on-Practical-Change

I should disclose that I do a great deal of HTML email marketing as part of my job. I know the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 like the back of my hand because I obey it fully, although that's an American act. The Canadian spam laws are less known to me, but this Sympatico list purchased rented by Rocco Rossi does include this statement.

You have received this message because when using one of our Websites, you have asked to receive information on news and updates from Sympatico.ca and its partners at mikeboon@gmail.com

In theory, if I had opted in with Sympatico to receive updates from Sympatico.ca's partners, this isn't spam. Rocco Rossi "rented" the list and there is an opt-out mechanism within the email. So Rocco Rossi didn't just spam me, if I had opted in with Sympatico.

But here's the thing. I'm very web savvy. I always, always uncheck such checkboxes when I register for anything. And, I don't believe I've ever dealt with Sympatico. Everything I have is with Rogers, and I've never received an email from Sympatico before.

Maybe I was just spammed by Rocco Rossi.

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Insane Clown Posse: Learn Your Fuckin' Science

musicInsane Clown Posse have a new song called "Miracles". Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope sing about the miracles they witness everyday. Here's the tune:

If you're at work and can't listen right now, here's the "Miracles" lyrics:

If magic is all we've ever know
Then it's easy to miss what really goes on
But I've seen miracles in every way
And I see miracles everyday
Oceans spanning beyond my sight
And a million stars way above em at night
We don't have to be high to look in the sky
And know that's a miracle opened wide
Look at the mountains, trees, the seven seas
And everything chilling underwater, please
Hot lava, snow, rain and fog
Long neck giraffes, and pet cats and dogs
And I've seen eighty-five thousand people
All in one room, together as equals
Pure magic is the birth of my kids
I've seen shit that'll shock your eyelids
The sun and the moon, and even Mars
The Milky Way and fucking shooting stars
UFOs, a river flows
Plant a little seed and nature grows
Niagara falls and the pyramids
Everything you believed in as kids
Fucking rainbows after it rains
There's enough miracles here to blow your brains
I fed a fish to a pelican at Frisco Bay
It tried to eat my cell phone, he ran away
And music is magic, pure and clean
You can feel it and hear it but it can't be seen

Music is all magic
(Are you a believer in miracles)
You can't even hold it
(Do you notice and recognize miracles)
It's just there in the air
(Are you a believer in miracles)
Pure motherfucking magic
Right?
This shit'll blow your fucking mind
(Do you notice and recognize miracles)

Music is a lot like love, it's all a feeling
And it fills the room, from the floor to the ceiling
I see miracles all around me
Stop and look around, it's all astounding
Water, fire, air and dirt
Fucking magnets, how do they work?
And I don't wanna talk to a scientist
Y'all motherfuckers lying, and getting me pissed
Solar eclipse, and vicious weather
Fifteen thousand Juggalos together
And I love my mom for giving me this
Time on this planet, taking nothing for granted
I seen a caterpillar turn into a butterfly
Miracles ain't nothing to lie
Shaggy's little boys look just like Shaggy
And my little boy looks just like daddy
Miracles each and every where you look
And nobody has to stay where they put
This world is yours for you to explore
There's nothing but miracles beyond your door
The Dark Carnival is your invitation
To witness that without explanation
Take a look at this fine creation
And enjoy it better with appreciation
Crows, ghosts, the midnight coast
The wonders of the world, mysteries the most
Just open your mind, and it ain't no way
To ignore the miracles of every day

(Are you a believer in miracles)
Magic everywhere in this bitch
(Do you notice and recognize miracles)
It's all around you, you don't even know it
(Are you a believer in miracles)
Shit's crazy
(Do you notice and recognize miracles,
So many miracles, the magic miracles)

Are you a believer in miracles
Do you have time for the miracles
Do you notice and recognize miracles
So many miracles, the magic miracles
Are you a believer in miracles
Do you have time for the miracles
Do you notice and recognize miracles
So many miracles, the magic miracles
Are you a believer in miracles
Do you have time for the miracles
Do you notice and recognize miracles
So many miracles, the magic miracles
Are you a believer in miracles
Do you have time for the miracles
Do you notice and recognize miracles
So many miracles, the magic miracles

The American school system has grossly failed the Insane Clown Posse. How else can we explain Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope's belief that the following are miracles?

  • oceans
  • stars
  • mountains
  • trees
  • lava
  • snow
  • rain
  • fog
  • giraffes
  • cats
  • dogs
  • childbirth
  • sun
  • moon
  • mars
  • milky way
  • shooting stars
  • ufos (wtf?)
  • rivers
  • plants
  • Niagara falls
  • pyramids
  • rainbows
  • pelicans
  • magnets
  • music
  • water
  • fire
  • air
  • dirt
  • solar eclipses
  • caterpillars turning into butterflies
  • children resembling their birth parents
  • crows
  • ghosts (wtf?)
  • the midnight coast

Aside from the UFOs and ghosts, the entire list can be explained by science. To help out Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, Cracked has put together a textbook for Juggalos entitled "Learn Your Fuckin' Science".

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How I Knew 14/88 Was Racist

thumbsdownThere's a guy in Virginia who really hates Islam. You may have seen this photo of his truck that went viral. Accompanying a picture of the World Trade Centre burning is the statement "Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Islam I Learned on 9/11".

Heil-Hitler-License-Plate

This entry isn't about this guy's hateful statement about Islam, it's about his license plate number. I took one look at the 14 and 88 in his license and knew it was racist. And guess how I knew?

Earlier this year, I wrote a little something about the Subbanator fans who wore blackface to a Habs game. One of the gentlemen in blackface began commenting, and we started communicating via email. His handle on my blog was "wantthis1488".

I had no idea what 1488 meant until commenter matt left this comment.

go figure. a guy with 1488 in his name doesn't think this is a problem. The 14 words and 88 is Heil Hitler.

That's when I learnt 14 and 88 were numbers that mean more than meets the eye. The number 88 stands for the eighth letter of the alphabet, H, doubled to signify "Heil Hitler" and 14 is code for imprisoned white supremacist David Lane's 14-word motto: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."

I asked the Subbanator guy outright if that's where he got the 1488 in his handle and he convinced me it was actually his hockey and football numbers put together. But this Virginia guy, he's not fooling anybody.

Thanks to the exposure this picture has received, his 14CV88 personalized plates have now been rejected by the Virginia DMV.

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Ned Turofsky, His Graflex Camera, and a Frozen Legend

LeafsI just read a piece by James Marsh for the National Post that gave me shivers.

James was in Maple Leaf Gardens that April 21, 1951 night Bill Barilko scored in overtime to win the Leafs the cup. Here's an excerpt from his article.

Foster Hewitt, broadcasting to three million listeners on the radio, described what happened at 2:53 of the aptly named sudden-death overtime: “He shoots, he scores! Barilko! Barilko has won the Stanley Cup for the Leafs!” Ignoring his coach’s constant imprecations to stay back and keep his position, Barilko had pounced on the centering pass, tripped over teammate Cal Gardner (who might have scored with the same loose puck) and backhanded the puck over the sprawling McNeil.

“You see! You see! Barilko!” I shouted to Granny. She was quiet. For her, the thrill of victory was always far less pervasive than the relief of not losing.

How much of the enduring appeal of that goal is owing to the subsequent tragedy is hard to say. The following summer, on Aug. 26, 1951, Barilko and a friend took off in a fish-laden, single-engine bush plane and disappeared into the tangled forest of northern Ontario. I was devastated. How does a seven-year-old sort out the mythic implications of the death of a hero? Barilko’s number five was etched onto my heart and even today is the nearest thing I have to a superstition. The site of the crash was not discovered until 1962, supposedly lifting a curse and allowing the Maple Leafs to win another Cup, as they conveniently did that year.

More certain is the effect on memory of the astonishing photograph of the goal snapped by Ned Turofsky on his Graflex camera, with such exquisite timing that he caught the puck in the net before the goal light had flashed. McNeil is planted on his seat, having stumbled trying to follow Meeker’s antics behind the net. Richard waits for a pass he will never get. Meeker will never see the moment of glory, as he is plastered against the boards by Tom Johnson.

Bill Barilko, my hero, is suspended in mid-air, frozen in time. Forever elated, forever young.

That was 59 years ago yesterday. I'm less than 59-years old, but I feel as if I saw that game. I've been enamoured by Bill Barilko for as long as I can remember.

I've got an online tribute to Bill Barilko here that I've maintained for a great deal longer than I've had this blog. I own a custom-made vintage white Maple Leafs jersey with Barilko and #5 on the back that I wear to every Leafs game and Tragically Hip concert I attend.

Next year, Bashin' Bill's goal turns 60. Let's do something special.

bill

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Brian Kownacki = Best Slide Home Ever

baseballIn US College baseball action last night, Fordham rallied from 9-1 down to win 12-9 against Iona. You don't want to miss Brian Kownacki touching home plate in the clip below.

The call is by WFUV's Gregg Caserta.

[via The Sporting Blog]

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Juan Antonio Samaranch, Dead at 89

In MemoriumJuan Antonio Samaranch was 89. His 21-year term as president of the International Olympic Committee was marked by both the unprecedented growth of the games and its biggest ethics scandal.

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Shad - Yaa I Get It

videoShad is a hip-hop artist from London, Ontario who recorded one of my favourite albums of 2008, The Old Prince.

He's got a new album coming out next month. It's called TSOL and I can't wait to hear it.

Here's his new single, "Yaa I Get It".

[via Mondoville]

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Eddie Vedder's Oh Conan for Coco

conanConan O'Brien's birthday was on Monday. He performed in Seattle. Eddie Vedder played him a little song.


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High Park Cherry Blossom Map

picturesThe cherry blossoms in High Park are in full effect. Before you grab your camera and make the trip to snap great shots like these, I can help you plan your day.

I know High Park very well, so I can tell you where you'll find the best Somei-Yoshino cherry trees. Take Cherry Hill down from West Road to Grenadier Pond and you'll find this.

You can thank me later. Here's where those kick ass cherry blossoms are on the map.

Cherry-Blossoms-in-High-Park

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I'm Okay With the Dentist

thumbsupI'm okay with the dentist. Actually, I'm better than okay. I like going to the dentist.

I had a cleaning appointment this evening. I got to sit there and truly relax. No blackberry, no laptop, no television, no distractions. I lay back and let the dental hygienist do her thing.

It will probably be the only conscious half hour this week when I did absolutely nothing. I'm okay with that.


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Guru, Dead at 43

In MemoriumKeith "Guru" Elam was 43. He and DJ Premier formed Gang Starr, one of the top hip hop crews of the 1990s.

I remember picking up Daily Operation at the Sam the Record Man at Yonge and Dundas back in '92.

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Every Actor on Lost is the Exact Same Height

TVIn what can only be described as a wild and crazy coincidence that defies all logic, every actor on Lost is the exact same height.

lost

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Jake Edwards & the Q-Jays - We Faught 'Em All

jaysThere's been a lot of talk this week about fan support for the Blue Jays. What exactly was expected when we traded fan favourite and greatest starter of all-time Roy Halladay? I would have been more shocked if there wasn't a dip in attendance at the dome after that punch to the gut.

Hearkening back to a different era, when the Jays were perennial contenders and we could mow down the competition in the AL East, here's Brother Jake Edwards and the Q-Jays singing "We Faught 'Em All".

Other awesome Blue Jays audio from Toronto Mike:

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The Jerk Way to Unfollow in Twitter

twitterMost of you aren't on Twitter. I happen to like Twitter. My favourite times to tweet are during hockey games I'm watching. There's an entire community of hockey fans communicating in real-time and it definitely adds a valuable element to the experience. It makes a great thing even better.

I honestly don't care who's following me on Twitter or how many people are following me. I know it's 1,683 because I just checked, but that number means nothing to me. I primarily tweet to join in the #nohabsno and #throwthesnake fun.

I once read about a service that sends you an email every time someone unfollows you on Twitter. It tells you who unfollowed you, and what tweet pushed them over the edge. I always thought that was the worst service in the world, because followers on Twitter are always going to come and go and, unlike with Facebook, they're usually not your friends. They're usually people you don't know in the real world.

A tweet just hit my Twitter stream from a Chris Gingerich. Chris has 28 followers, tweets as @chriscrisco and claims to love hockey. Chris decided to unfollow me today, which is his prerogative, but he didn't do what I do and simply unfollow gently into that goodnight. Chris unfollowed the jerk way.

twitter

If you don't want to follow someone, simply unfollow them. That's the joy of Twitter. Don't do what Chris did. Don't be a complete jerk about it.

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Unbelievable Picture of Eyjafjallajökull - Waiting for Katla

boltI still can't believe this picture of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupting. The first time I saw it, I was sure it was shopped, but a little digging reveals this is the real deal.

eyjafjallajokull

By the way, the last time Eyjafjallajökull erupted, it erupted for 14 months, from December 1821 to January 1823. And if that's not frightening enough, every time previously that Eyjafjallajökull has erupted, its neighbour, the much larger Katla, has followed suit.

I always knew Iceland was trouble.

[Image via Marco Fulle's collection (currently offline)]

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The Choice that Really Wasn't A Choice At All

hangerLast month, I wrote about the problem with my favourite jacket. That's the kind of amazing content you can expect here. In a nutshell, I love my 12-year old leather jacket but the lining and pockets have virtually disappeared, and some might suggest it's time for a new one.

Your comments ran the gamut from "don't be a cheap ass, buy a new jacket" to "do whatever it takes to repair that jacket". I think I started to believe I had a choice to make, but in reality, it wasn't a choice at all. I had to save my old favourite, because that's how I'm wired.

I shopped around, got a bunch of quotes and ended up splurging for a new thinsulate lining, new pockets and a functional zipper. I turned it in yesterday and she'll be as good as new by next fall.

Except she won't be new, and that was the point.


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I Used to Dream in Tetris

RewindYouTube 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.

In the late 80s, Tetris was huge. I had it for the Nintendo Game Boy and played it often. I actually started dreaming in Tetris. I'd have dreams in which I lived in a Tetris world and had to move and rotate the shapes form Tetris to form horizontal lines.

My dreams weren't unlike this ad from 1989.

The first shot in that ad features the World Trade Center. Then you realize...

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William Houston is a Bitter Blogger: Truth or Rumour?

NewspaperI always liked William Houston's Truth and Rumours in the Globe and Mail. He mainly covered the sports media, which I've naturally been interested in forever. William Houston wrote that column for 19 years until he accepted a buy out and left the Globe in February 2009, and has since taken up blogging at Truth & Rumours.

He wrote a blog entry the other day that has the blogosphere atwitter. He called out a whole bunch of media people, then completely edited the entry and deleted the 160+ comments left by fans convinced he's lost it.

I found a Google Cache of the original entry, but it only has a few comments preserved. You can see that entry in this screen cap I've kept for posterity. Aww heck, here's a good ol' paste job to save you the click.

Gone fishing? Not yet, but it’s tempting

  Why the absence? Well, I was away for awhile and frankly it’s been difficult to get motivated post-Olympics. Distractions include good weather and a Chestnut canoe, refurbished and re-canvassed, that has more appeal right now than the computer screen.

   I launched Truth & Rumours in mid-October 2009 with a column ripping the Toronto media, particularly the Toronto Star, for shamelessly sucking up to Maple Leaf general manager Brian Burke, while ignoring, for the most part, his moronic deal with the Boston Bruins that sent two first round draft choices, plus a second, to the Bruins for Phil Kessel. I predicted the Bruins would end up with a top three pick, perhaps first overall, in the 2010 NHL entry draft.

  So, it’s fitting, after a long absence, that I return one day after the NHL lottery awarded Boston the second selection in the June draft.

   After I criticized the trade, calling it reckless and irresponsible, the Star’s Damien Cox rushed to Burke’s defense. It will take years to settle this debate. The key comparison next season will be Kessel, who says he will return in better shape, versus Tyler Seguin, a centre whom the Bruins will likely take with the Leaf pick.

   I liked Burke’s acquisition of Dion Phaneuf for which he sent the Calgary Flames a bunch of nobodies. Still, shouldn’t the Leaf front office be wondering about guy who looked great in his first game, but never came close to achieving that level of play for the remainder of the season? But never mind, Phaneuf’s record will be good enough for the Leaf brain trust to  appoint him captain.

  Among the relative newcomers to the hockey media, I enjoyed the work of Doug MacLean on Fan590 and Rogers Sportsnet. On the flip side, I continue to be unimpressed by Sportsnet’s Darin Millard, who’s been around since the launch of the channel and is easily the most irritating and unlikable personality in hockey broadcasting.

  The biggest joke of 2009-10, unfortunately, was the spectacle of James Mirtle attempting to function as a Globe and Mail hockey writer. A statistics wonk with limited journalistic skills, poor James struggled, to say the least. Consider his gruesome effort on April 12, in which he “reports” on Leaf coach Ron Wilson’s assessment of the season.

  Mirtle wanted us to know that some ex-Leafs felt the players in the room had given up playing for Wilson.

  He wrote, “And while at least one of those traded has quietly told friends around the league that the Leafs coach had ‘lost the room,’ it’s now crystal clear Burke came down on the side of Wilson, shuttling out nearly 40 per cent of his roster in a span of five weeks in a bid to clear out the malcontents.”

   Okay, so who’s the player quietly telling “friends around the league” that Wilson lost the room? Either James didn’t know, or he didn’t have the guts to report his name. It was just cheap gossip and a cowardly bit of work. And didn’t you love his term “crystal clear”? My god, that hackneyed piece of twaddle was worn out and over-used decades ago.

   Still, if reading Mirtle isn’t good for a laugh, there’s always Chris Zelkovich, the broadcast columnist for the Star. Now, Chris isn’t a funny guy, really, but in Monday’s edition of the Star he did a wonderful job of amusing his readers with his logo picture. Apparently, Chris had been watching some 3D TV, so the Star gave him 3D eye glasses to wear and the result was, well, hilarious. Imagine Alfred E. Neuman as a slap-head senior citizen wearing a goofy, toothless grin on his face and red and blue spectacles. Very amusing.

In his revised version that's currently live on his blog, Houston tones down his James Mirtle hate-on and completely removes his Chris Zelkovich digs. That's right, the Alfred E. Neuman line didn't make it through the edits.

There are three possibilities here:

  1. William Houston's blog has been hacked
  2. William Houston has lost his mind
  3. William Houston is a bitter man, resentful of those still gainfully employed in the MSM

Which option gets your vote?

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Volcano Songs

The Number FiveA volcano beneath Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier erupted on Wednesday. Here are songs in my collection with the word volcano in the title.

  1. Beck - Volcano
  2. Jimmy Buffett - Volcano
  3. The Presidents of the United States of America - Volcano
  4. Damien Rice - Volcano
  5. Veruca Salt - Volcano Girls
  6. Matthew Good - Volcanoes

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10000 Entries, 8 years, 1 Author

notepadI published this blog's 10,000th entry the other day. I knew it was coming, and I meant to make it special, but then I totally missed it.

My 10,000th entry ended up being this MP3 of 'Til Tuesday's "Voices Carry". Not quite the significant entry I was planning.

10000

10,000 entries over eight years... and still one solitary author. I don't have metrics to back it up, but I'm willing to bet only 0.000023% of blogs reach 10000 entries by a single author.

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How to Win a Stanley Cup in 1993

angryIt all started when I appeared on The Team 990 in Montreal. I casually mentioned that the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs would win the same number of playoff games this season. That's when Metric Julie jumped in and challenged me to a bet. Listen below.

Then, we established the terms. If I won, Metric Julie had to sing the refrain from "The Leafs Are The Best" on The Team 990. If I lost, I had to post a Habs tribute video on this blog.

Somehow, against all odds, I lost this bet. Montreal beat Washington in game one and now I need to do what Wendel would do. Wendel would never welch on a bet. Wendel would suck it up, embed the damn video, and publish that shit like a man.

This is for you, Wendel. Oh... and Metric Julie.

p.s. ALL HEART is over here, if you need to wash that taste from your mouth. I know I'll be spending the rest of the playoffs watching it on a continuous loop.

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Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n Wrestling and Bonnie Tyler

cdI loved watching Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n Wrestling on Saturday mornings. I had the theme song on my copy of The Wrestling Album, which I actually owned on cassette. It was called "Hulk Hogan's Theme".

Here it is:

My copy of The Wrestling Album confirmed it was called "Hulk Hogan's Theme", but today I have something I didn't have back in 1985. Today I have the interwebs.

That's where I discovered "Ravishing" by Bonnie Tyler. Listen to "Ravishing" below.

Mind: blown.

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Second Harvest's 25 Years of Hunger Relief

foodYou might notice the CN Tower looking a little green tonight. The CN Tower is going green in recognition of Second Harvest's 25 years of hunger relief.

I like the folks at Second Harvest. It's a great organization, and if you're ever looking to volunteer or donate, I can hook you up.

Happy 25th birthday, Second Harvest!

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Throw the Snake a Barilkosphere Triumph

NHLThis is a great day for the Barilkosphere. Last night, following Keith Yandle's goal for the Phoenix Coyotes at home against the Detroit Red Wings, a Coyotes fan threw a snake on the ice. Here's the photographic evidence of this epic moment in Barilkosphere history.

snake

You're probably wondering why I'm giving the Barilkosphere credit for this act... @felixpotvin a.k.a. Chemmy from Pension Plan Puppets is the man responsible for this thrown snake, as he used the power of Twitter to essentially invent a movement to combat Detroit's octopus throwing tradition. As it unfolded in real time before my eyes on Twitter, it was fast and furious, but it seems Chemmy wanted Travis Hair from the Coyotes blog Five For Howling to throw a rubber snake on the ice. The Coyotes organization responded in an unfortunate humourless and passionateless manner, promising to eject anyone who dared try such a stunt.

Despite the Coyotes' best efforts to squish the snake, I heard references to Throw The Snake during the game last night and Hockey Night in Canada mentioned it as well.

If you're going to a Coyotes home game during the playoffs, throw the snake. Just do it. The Barilkosphere insists upon it.

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Peter Steele, Dead at 48

In MemoriumPeter Steele was 48. He was the vocalist and bassist of heavy metal band Type O Negative.

Here's a nice cover they did of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl".

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We Suck

CN TowerIt seems like we were just talking about the Raptors gunning for fourth in the conference and a home court advantage for their first round in the playoffs. For those who don't follow the Raps, we finished ninth in the conference and that means we missed the playoffs for the second season in a row.

At least the Raptors played a playoff game three seasons ago. Our Leafs haven't played a playoff game since 2004. That's five seasons ago and six years. My daughter's about to turn six and she's not been alive for a single Leafs playoff game.

Of course, if we're talking playoff droughts in this city, the Blue Jays are the top dogs. The last Blue Jays playoff game ended with Joe Carter touching them all, and that was back in 1993. What's that, 17 seasons ago? Do we count the year they cancelled the World Series? Is it really 18 seasons ago?

At least it's tough to make the playoffs in baseball. Our Argonauts play in an 8 team league in which 6 teams make the playoffs, and they haven't qualified since 2007. It's not looking good for next season, either.

I could drag Toronto FC into this mess, but they're only in their fourth season. We'll excuse their three years of missing the playoffs. And the Marlies missed the playoffs, but they were there last year, if we're desperate for a silver lining.

Who am I kidding... there's no silver lining. The three teams with the largest fan-base, the Leafs, Raptors and Blue Jays, have collectively been absent from the playoffs since the Raps lost to Orlando in the first round back in the spring of good 'ol 2008.

We suck.

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I'm In The Library of Congress

twitterI can cross another item off my bucket list. I'm going to be in the Library of Congress!

The U.S. Library of Congress announced this morning that it will be acquiring the entire archive of Twitter messages back through March 2006.

loc

Top o the world, ma!

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'Til Tuesday - Voices Carry

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.

play 'Til Tuesday - Voices Carry
Last week I wrote about the Twitter fight between Ice T and Aimee Mann. If you don't know Aimee Mann from her work on the Magnolia soundtrack, and if you're my age or older, you may remember her as the lead singer of 'Til Tuesday.

The definitive 'Til Tuesday track is "Voices Carry", mainly because it had a great video that was played ad nausea and that very cool part near the end when Aimee yells "He said, shut up! He said, shut up! Oh God, can't you keep it down?"

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Google Leafs Ad Funny Because It's True

leafsThe George Carlin of the Barilkosphere, Down Goes Brown, is sharing this great Google ad.

Google gets us. They really, really get us.

I'm listed in the first page of Google results for that search, by the way. Watch the Wendel Clark "All Heart" video here.

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Rowdy Roddy Piper

humourI put up a little something about WrestleMania III the other day, and that sparked a comments discussion about the WWE vs. TNA. If you're interested in wrestling, you'll want to click over and check out that thread.

I don't know anything about TNA wrestling, but I do remember Rowdy Roddy Piper. Hot Rod was my favourite, and I'd tune in weekly to hear him on the Piper's Pit.

We all know "For Everybody" was the best track on The Wrestling Album. JYD, Jimmy Hart and Captain Lou contributed gems, but Hot Rod stole the show.

roddy

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My 2010 Playoff Hockey Pool Picks

hockey poolI'm back from drafting my players in the greatest playoff hockey pool ever. Thanks Crazy Joe and Gary for dropping out at the last second and Andy and Elvis for choosing work. But especially thanks to Lamster for choosing bowling and Drew for choosing Nova Scotia.

Still, nine of us gathered to make our selections and at the end of it all it seems I'm rooting for Vancouver with a little Devils and Red Wings sprinkled in for good measure. I'm pleased to report that of the 90 players picked, not one plays for the Habs.

  1. H. Sedin - VAN
  2. D. Sedin - VAN
  3. P. Elias - NJ
  4. J. Langenbrunner - NJ
  5. V. Filppula - DET
  6. K. Versteeg - CHI
  7. P. Demitra - VAN
  8. D. Cleary - DET
  9. T. Myers - BUF
  10. M. Raymond - VAN

Follow our pool online at http://www.torontomike.com/2010hockeypool.html.

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Help Me Win My NHL Playoff Pool

PuckHelp me win my annual NHL playoff pool. We're drafting tonight, as we have every April (other than the lock-out year) the past fifteen or so years.

Our draft is a little old school, and intentionally simple. We all physically get in the same room and take turns picking players until everyone has ten. Then, a point is a point is a point. It's all about points.

I once came in second, but typically I'm pretty awful at this. I need your help. Who are the players who will put up the points, outside of the usual suspects?

Which teams do you predict will make their respective conference finals?

Help me!

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The Dead Weather - Die By the Drop

videosLast summer I was sharing The Dead Weather, a supergroup comprised of vocalist Alison Mosshart (of The Kills), drummer and vocalist Jack White (of The White Stripes and The Raconteurs), guitarist Dean Fertita (of Queens of the Stone Age) and bassist Jack Lawrence (of The Raconteurs and The Greenhornes).

Of course, I'm partial to everything Jack White touches, and this is no exception. Check out "Die By the Drop".

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WrestleMania III and the 10 Who Have Died

rewindI was watching Sportsnet last night, following the Leafs game, and they did a whole segment on UFC. I changed the channel. I have zero interest in UFC or MMA and I'm not ashamed to admit I don't get it at all.

I tweeted about this fact earlier today, and that prompted @pgvildys to tell me Wrestlemania might be returning to Toronto in 2012. That, naturally, got me thinking about Wrestlemania III at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan.

It was 1987 and I was still a big WWF fan. I knew it was fake, but it was my soap opera of choice. I loved the characters, the storylines and ate it up.

Here are the events that took place at WrestleMania III

  • The Can-Am Connection (Rick Martel and Tom Zenk) defeated Bob Orton and The Magnificent Muraco (with Mr. Fuji)
  • Billy Jack Haynes and Hercules (with Bobby Heenan) fought to a double countout
  • Hillbilly Jim, The Haiti Kid and Little Beaver defeated King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo and Lord Littlebrook by disqualification
  • Harley Race (with Bobby Heenan and The Fabulous Moolah) defeated The Junkyard Dog
  • The Dream Team (Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake) (with Johnny Valiant and Dino Bravo) defeated The Rougeau Brothers (Jacques and Raymond)
  • Roddy Piper defeated Adrian Adonis (with Jimmy Hart)
  • The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) and Danny Davis (with Jimmy Hart) defeated The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid) and Tito Santana
  • Butch Reed (with Slick) defeated Koko B. Ware
  • Ricky Steamboat (with George Steele) defeated Randy Savage (with Miss Elizabeth)
  • The Honky Tonk Man (with Jimmy Hart) defeated Jake Roberts (with Alice Cooper)
  • The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff (with Slick) defeated The Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair and Jim Brunzell) by disqualification
  • Hulk Hogan defeated André the Giant (with Bobby Heenan)

Here are the participants that are no longer with us.

  • Hercules
  • Haiti Kid
  • Little Beaver
  • The Fabulous Moolah
  • Junkyard Dog
  • Dino Bravo
  • Adrian Adonis
  • Davey Boy Smith
  • Miss Elizabeth
  • André the Giant

I'm still sad about The Junkyard Dog.

jyd

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Dixie Carter, Dead at 70

In MemoriumDixie Carter was 70. She was the actress best known for her role as Julia Sugarbaker on the sitcom "Designing Women."

I remember her well as Maggie McKinney on Diff'rent Strokes.

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Dear CBC, Please Give Us Back Our Beloved Bob Cole

cbcMy Leafs just wrapped up their last game of the season. As you know, we were attempting to throw a wrench into the Canadiens' playoff pursuit. It was a great game, but Montreal got their point and clinched their playoff spot. I'll still win the bet, but Ron Wilson really should have pulled the damn goalie.

The game was called by Bob Cole. I loved every syllable he uttered. I love Bob Cole's voice and style, I always have. He provided the voiceover for all my favourite hockey memories. Every Leafs playoff goal of my life has been called by Mr. Bob Cole and I'll always love him for it.

Hearing his voice tonight, I realized how much better Leafs games are when he's behind the microphone. Not only do I hope Bob Cole doesn't retire, but I hope the CBC gives him back to us and has him call every Saturday night Leafs game next season. That's the way it used to be, and that's the way it should be.

Besides, I sense others don't appreciate him the way we do. Here's Exhibit A, or "Reason #42 as to Why Habs Fans Suck".

twitter

Please CBC, give him back. We love him, we need him and they don't deserve him.

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High Park Cherry Blossoms Not Yet Bloomed

CalendarThis past week, I've seen more and more people visiting this blog after searching Google for information on the cherry blossoms in High Park. I rank highly for such searches thanks to this entry in 2008 and this guide to finding High Park's best cherry blossoms I wrote last spring.

I was in High Park this afternoon, and I'm here to tell you it's still too early. The cherry blossoms have not yet bloomed. If you visit High Park today, this is what you'll see.

highpark 002 highpark 004

If you visit in a couple of weeks, this is what you'll see.

Cherry Blossoms @ High Park

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Ice T vs. Aimee Mann: This Is A Throw Down

twitterTwitter can be a tough place. It's certainly not for the thin skinned. Some guy in Vancouver bashed me on Twitter so often, I created a filter in my email that deleted messages that contained the keywords "did you know * is trashing you on Twitter?".

Yesterday there was a great battle on Twitter between Ice T and Aimee Mann. Yes, that Aimee Mann. Check this out.

twitter

What's next? A Twitter war between Eminem and the Dalai Lama?

[via New York Magazine]

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Size Matters

googleGmail gives you a lot of space for free, but I just hit the wall for the second time. The first time I hit 99% capacity, I managed to free up a GB of space with a selective deletion campaign.

A couple of days ago, here's what I was seeing in Gmail.

gmail

After forking over a whopping $5 to Google, here's what I'm seeing today.

gmail

I think it's worth it.

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He Is Risen

bluejaysVernon Wells went six for 10 in our opening series against the Rangers, with four homers and seven RBIs. No other Blue Jay has hit a homer in the first three games of a season.

vernon

He is risen.

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Of Fearless Fred and Barry Taylor (Or Why I Don't Know Shit)

radioI've listened to less CFNY this past year than I have in any 12 month period since becoming a teenager. I'll tune in periodically in my car for the tunes, but it's no longer my go-to station. I haven't felt comfortable listening to Edge 102 since they fired Martin Streek and Barry Taylor.

The past couple of afternoons I've listened to the man they call Fearless Fred. You might remember Fearless Fred coming to town from Edmonton, bumping Bookie. He even talked about me.

I honestly don't know how Fearless Fred got this gig. Without a hint of bias, I sincerely think he's horrible. He aims for the slacker persona, pretending not to care about much, and it's not informative nor entertaining. What gets me is they fired a guy who played that same card. Fearless Fred is Barry Taylor, only Barry was a great deal funnier.

This is when I'm convinced I really don't know shit about radio or being a program director. You see, I'd have kept Barry Taylor. Of course, I'd have also kept Martin Streek, a guy who clearly knew his music and loved talking about it. Then again, I wouldn't have turned a once legendary station into top 40 with grunge.

I'm not one of those old guys who hearkens for the CFNY of the 80s when David Marsden was calling the shots. I'm not greedy. I'd be very happy with the CFNY of the 90s that played The Clash, REM, The Pixies, and The Smiths alongside their Rage Against the Machine and Nirvana. I just don't need to hear "1979" and "Black" every single day.

Now we're stuck with a station almost completely void of personality. I can't stand the morning show, I can't stand the afternoon drive show and I can't stand the program director.

I clearly don't know shit.

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Malcolm McLaren, Dead at 64

In MemoriumMalcolm McLaren was 64. He was the former manager of the Sex Pistols and the New York Dolls.

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Tiger Woods Reads My Blog

golfFour months ago, I wrote I'm Not a PGA Fan, I'm a Tiger Fan, and this is Crazy. I couldn't believe he'd stop golfing because he got caught cheating on his wife. Here's what I wrote at the time.

Tiger, ya dirty dog, work on that marriage, fix it for your wife and kids, but for heaven's sake, keep golfing. There are records to break, there's history to make, legions of fans to please and me, a Tiger Woods fan who doesn't give a shit about golf.

I always suspected Tiger reads this blog, and now I have proof. Tiger tees off this afternoon at the Masters and suddenly the world gives a shit about golf again. I hope he wins.

tiger-woods-out-of-bunker

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Humble and Fred's Podcast of Resurrection

podcastThis past Saturday, I joined Humble and Fred as they recorded their Eastover Podcast. I think that's what they called it... or was it the Podcast of Resurrection?

This time, we're sharing the podcast in four easy to digest chunks. Enjoy...

Part 1

Download the MP3

Part 2

Download the MP3

Part 3

Download the MP3

Part 4

Download the MP3

Thanks to Dan Duran and Bingo Bob for helping to make this magic happen, ACME Pictures for donating the web space and PROUD FM for donating the studio space.

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Frank Black - Headache

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.

play Frank Black - Headache
My absolute favourite post-Pixies song from Black Francis... I mean, Frank Black is "Headache" from Teenager of the Year.

If you haven't heard it in a while, you'll be surprised by how good it still sounds today.

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Band of Horses - Compliments

videosBand of Horses' new album, Infinite Arms, is coming soon. This is a cut from that album that I'm digging.

Is it just me or is there a little of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" in there?

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Biological Clock + Newborn = Baby Talk

babyBack in September of 2007, my wife tried to sell me on having a third child. Her argument was a good one. We had created two amazing kids, why not create a third?

I somehow managed to convince her we were done growing the family, and I didn't hear another word about having a third kid until Sunday. That was the day after my wife held our new nephew for hours and hours. With the baby in our family about to turn six and my wife soon to hit the big 3-5, my wife eloquently and passionately argued her case as to why we should have a third kid. She did this during our Scrabble game, ensuring I was a captive audience. Clever girl.

Don't get me wrong, I'd be a lucky SOB to have a third kid and I'd love him/her to pieces, but I'm pretty sure I'm done. I've been blessed with the two greatest kids in the world and everything is absolutely perfect as it is.

The negotiation continues...

Easter 2010

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Get Off My Scrabble Board!!!

angryBBC News is reporting that the rules of word game Scrabble are being changed for the first time in its history to allow the use of proper nouns.

Place names, people's names and company names or brands will now count.

Mattel, which brings out a new version of the game containing amended rules in July, hopes the change will encourage younger people to play.

I play Scrabble as often as possible. I played a game as recently as Sunday. I love my Scrabble and this is the worst idea I've ever heard.

This reeks of New Coke. I'll stick with my Classic Scrabble, thank you very much.

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"A Tremendous Shot" - Tom Cheek on Doug Ault

Blue JaysVernon Wells and Adam Lind went deep today as the Jays lost to the Rangers on opening day. That's a great excuse for me to share some audio from our very first opening day on April 7, 1977.

This is the late great Tom Cheek calling the first home run in Blue Jays history. It was hit by Doug Ault who would add another before the day was through.

A tremendous shot!

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16 Years Ago Today: I Was 19, He was 27

nirvanaOn this day in 1994, Kurt Cobain killed himself. I was 19 at the time. When a music lover's favourite artist shoots himself in the head, it tends to be a pretty big fucking deal. When that music lover is a teenager, you upgrade that BFD to DEFCON 2.

If you're looking to revisit the short but stellar career of Nirvana, check out my Nirvana primer. I wrote that one off the top of my head, because I was there and I remember.

If you're looking for some stuff I've written about Kurt Cobain over the years, you might want to start with this one and then crawl through my Nirvana category archive.

Kurt was pure genius, and I miss him.


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The Igor Kenk Bikes Set Free

BikeRemember Igor Kenk, that Dapper Dan? He's the guy who stole my bike (maybe) and a couple of years ago Chad wrote me with a good idea. He thought the Toronto Police should give the 2500 unclaimed backs back to Torontonians. Specifically, to the less fortunate.

That's exactly what's happened.

Crowds of kids showed up bright and early Monday morning to help move thousands of stolen bike parts to a new temporary home at the Cabbagetown Youth Centre.

The bike parts are the spoils of Igor Kenk, who was arrested in 2008 for theft. Police raided his Queen St. W. shop and found 3,000 stolen bicycles. Kenk, who pleaded guilty in 2009, was released in March.

The youth centre basement will store some 30 bicycles and 1,000 bike components and locks. The plan is to develop a program for youth to help put the bikes back together until they are safe enough to ride home.

Once repaired, Kenk’s bounty of stolen bikes will be donated to needy kids across Ontario, Attorney General Chris Bentley announced on Monday morning.

It was a great idea then and it's a great idea now.

Discuss "The Igor Kenk Bikes Set Free" (3 comments so far)


Remembering the 7" 45 RPM Record

musicI've loved music for as long as I can remember. I used to buy my favourite singles on vinyl as 7" 45 RPM records. We called these 45s.

I used to buy my 45s at the Sam the Record man that used to exist on Bloor Street just east of Jane. When I was about 12 or 13 I'd pick up the single I was digging that week, usually on 680 CFTR, and I distinctly remember getting change back from my fiver.

I loved listening to my 45s. There was something very cool about gently lifting the needle and laying it down on the 7" vinyl. She'd grab a groove and go. About 3.5 to 4 minutes later, she'd be done, and you'd set her up for another spin. You just don't get that intimacy with MP3s.

It's Sunday night and I'm getting all nostalgic about vinyl, but would I trade my new digital world for the pop and spider that came with my old 45s? Hell no, but it's a lot of fun looking back. Here's my copy of Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell". I still remember the day I picked up this gem.

Billy Idol

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Doubt Review

Movie ReviewDoubt: 7 out of 10.

Roger Ebert used to write about his Harry Dean Stanton rule. If he knew Harry Dean Stanton was in a movie, he knew it would be worth his time. I have a similar rule, only I call my rule the Philip Seymour Hoffman rule.

As always, Philip Seymour Hoffman is good in this movie, and it's worth seeing. It's particularly interesting in light of recent evidence Pope Benny helped shield pedophiles before becoming pope.

It's one of those movies you'll think about afterwards, and that's always a good thing. What's the point of a film you can't take with you?

doubt

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Fresh Meat and Chocolate Jesus

easterThe oldest kids in the family are about to turn six, so we were in need of fresh meat. Little Nate recently arrived to give family gatherings a little extra oomph, and yesterday we all chilled with the little man at my mom's place.

He's like a shiny new toy that everyone wants to hold. He literally gets passed around. He made me glad my mom still hosts an Easter dinner for a bunch of atheists.

Easter 2010 Easter 2010 Easter 2010 Easter 2010

Happy Easter to those of you who care. For everyone else, here's some Chocolate Jesus.

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PROUD FM: A Virtual Tour of Toronto's LGBT Station

radioI was given a tour of PROUD FM today by its program director, Bob Willette. I got to know Bob because he used to be known as Bingo Bob when he was producing the Humble and Fred show on CFNY and MOJO. I actually interviewed him three years ago when PROUD FM first launched.

Before I dive into the virtual tour, here's a little more background info on PROUD FM, copied straight from good ol' Wikipedia.

CIRR-FM, branded as 103.9 PROUD FM, is a radio station in Toronto, Ontario, licensed to serve the city's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities, launched in 2007. It is the first radio station in Canada targeted specifically to an LGBT audience, and the first commercial terrestrial LGBT radio station in the world - all earlier LGBT radio stations, such as Joy Melbourne in Australia, Radio Rosa in Denmark and SIRIUS OutQ on satellite radio, were operated by community non-profit groups or aired on non-traditional radio platforms.

PROUD FM is located at Church and Wellesley, at 65 Wellesley Street East. Here's a picture from the lobby showing it's in unit 201, right beside a TD Canada Trust office.

Humble and Fred @ PROUD FM

The first thing you see when you walk in is the PROUD FM wall of fame. You know some big names have roamed these halls when you see autographs from such megastars as Betty White and Chubby Checker.

Humble and Fred @ PROUD FM

The main studio is where all the magic happens, and that's where I spent the afternoon. Here's how it looked when I first walked in.

Humble and Fred @ PROUD FM

Here's a shot from the west side of the room. You can see the intersection of Church and Wellesley in the background.

Humble and Fred @ PROUD FM

When Bob left the room, I started rummaging through the prize binder and tapes, and started playing with the board. I hope he doesn't read this.

Humble and Fred @ PROUD FM Humble and Fred @ PROUD FM Humble and Fred @ PROUD FM Humble and Fred @ PROUD FM

PROUD FM is a lot like other radio stations I've visited, only gayer. For example, here's a room where the talent might record voice overs and promo spots. Note the disco ball in the corner.

Humble and Fred @ PROUD FM

PROUD FM is looking to increase the station's signal from 50 to 128 watts. Unless you live downtown, you'll still have to listen online, which you can do at http://www.proudfm.com/.

Humble and Fred @ PROUD FM

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Humble and Fred at PROUD FM for Podcast #7

MicrophoneI spent a few hours this afternoon with Humble, Fred, Dan and Bob at PROUD FM's studio recording the latest Humble and Fred Podcast. I should be able to share the audio with you all early next week.

It's hard to believe it's been almost four years since we started doing this podcast thing. I was at the first one, recorded in Dan Duran's home studio. This was the seventh one, recorded at the home of PROUD FM, where the producer formerly known as Bingo Bob is now program director.

Here are a couple of photos I snapped during the afternoon. I'm going to share a bunch of photos of the PROUD FM studio in a separate entry because this is my house and I'll do as I please.

Humble and Fred @ PROUD FM

Humble and Fred @ PROUD FM

Thanks Humble and Fred for the invite!

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Always Look On The Bright Side of Life




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March 2010 Organic Search Keywords

Search Strings According to Google Analytics, here are the top ten organic search keywords that brought people to this site in March 2010.

  1. eric tunney
  2. sandra rinomato breasts
  3. toronto mike
  4. boom 97.3
  5. country 95.3
  6. big shiny tunes 2
  7. tom brokaw explains canada to americans
  8. big shiny tunes 5
  9. eric tunney comedian
  10. rick hodge

I'm very surprised that there hasn't been a single article about the death of Eric Tunney in either the Toronto Star, Sun, Globe & Mail or National Post. The alt-weeklies Eye and Now wrote about it, but you'd think one of our four dailies would pick up the story.

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John Forsythe, Dead at 92

In MemoriumJohn Forsythe was 92. He was the actor best known as the voice of "Charlie" in the original television series "Charlie's Angels" and the two feature films, "Charlie's Angels" and "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle." He also portrayed Blake Carrington in "Dynasty."

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Leafs Talk - Cautious Optimism in the Barilkosphere

LeafsMy beloved Toronto Maple Leafs were eliminated from the playoffs on October 4th, so I've been watching and following my team with an eye towards next season.

I'm cautiously optimistic, for three reasons...

  1. Our goaltending will be better
  2. The Frat Pack is emerging as an intriguing line
  3. Nazem Kadri will be here to centre Phil Kessel's line

Pension Plan Puppets has a great little Nazem Kadri update for us today.

Remember how last time we checked in, Kadri was on a ridiculous and totally unsustainable scoring pace, with 8 points in 3 games? Well... yeah. He's now sitting with 16 points in 6 games, putting him 4 points ahead of the rest of the pack for the OHL lead. Turns out he didn't get suspended for his misconduct at the end of game three of the first round, either. He picked up 4 points in game five to help London move past Guelph. They now face Kadri's old club, Kitchener, where Naz had two points in a game one victory. A parting stat: Kadri has two points or more in every game this post-season.

Things can only get better, and they will. Go Leafs Go in 2010/2011!

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If I Make You Cringe, This Is For You

moneyI just got a great comment from Ryan. I have a brother named Ryan, so for my mom, let me clarify that this is a different Ryan. Non-brother Ryan had this to say about the product AXE sent me the other day.

Hi Mike,

i'm seeing a trend with these types of entries. These are essentially product placements, where companies send you stuff and you write about them. That's your prerogative and is a win win for you and the company i take it, but i'm curious if you have ever, or will ever, write anything negative about product you receive? (assuming you feel negatively about the product that is)

I love reading your blog, but when i see these types of posts i cringe just a little bit. It's just my opinion. When i see obvious product placements in a movie, i like that movie just a tiny bit less.

Anyway, i believe you work in marketing so i get it. I too have a background in marketing and work in media and promotions, so i get it.

Do you get these various products sent to you because of this blog (and the companies are aware of your traffic stats)or is it from the other marketing work you do?

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not judging. Just curious, and expressing my opinion.

cheers
Ryan

I liked Ryan's comment so much, I've decided to answer it here where it will get more eyeballs. It's actually a subject I've given a great deal of thought.

If a company gives me product, I'll blog that they gave me product. That's the product placement that's irking Ryan. This is why Ford puts me in a car for a week every summer and why Canadian Tire gives me a tent to camp in. They want to be blogged about, and they know if they give me stuff I'll blog about it.

What they can't buy, however, is a positive review. Disney sent me to see Bolt in 3D and I trashed it on this site. I don't sell positive reviews.

Furthermore, I wouldn't review a product or mention a product on this site without disclosing that the company gave it to me. For example, you won't find a "I'm loving the new AXE shampoo" entry unless I explicitly wrote that AXE sent me the product.

I understand it's a slippery slope and I don't want this to be that kind of site, but if this hobby of mine wants to score me some free shit now and then, I'm okay with it so long as I follow my rules above.

I promise, however, to try and minimize the cringe factor as best I can. I already turn down the vast majority of offers I get because I can't envision myself using the product or I don't deem the offer or service placement-worthy. But if The Tragically Hip wants to put me in the front row and give me backstage passes so I can write about their tour, I'll likely accept the offer.

This entry was brought to you by Palmolive. It softens hands while you do the dishes. Try Palmolive today!

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Broken Bells - The High Road

videosBack in the day, I'd have nominated a tune like this SLS consideration. SLS is dead, so I'm going to share this because I'm digging it.

It's "The High Road" by Broken Bells. Broken Bells is Danger Mouse and James Mercer from The Shins.

This is the first single from their self-titled debut album, now available.

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Wayne Gretzky and Joey Moss PSA

RewindYouTube 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.

If you were of a certain age in 1986, you'll remember this classic PSA featuring Wayne Gretzky and Joey Moss of the Edmonton Oilers. I was in grade 6 and this ad for The Canadian Association for the Mentally Retarded was epic.

Unfortunately, it only gained epic stature when the catchphrase "Gretzky!" screamed why shaking your hand behind your ear became the most popular statement in the St. Pius X schoolyard.

In hindsight, I don't think that was politically correct of us.

Even the name of the organization behind this ad has fallen out of fashion. The Canadian Association for the Mentally Retarded is now the Canadian Association for Community Living.

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This Day is For Fools

calendarI haven't really had a chance to check the news today, but that's okay. I hate checking my feeds on April 1. Every blog / company / service out there feels the need to float a phony story on April Fool's Day and it's more trouble than it's worth separating the fact from the fiction.

I'll check the news tomorrow when it's less foolish in these tubes, although I will give Down Goes Brown a glove tap for his April Fools - NHL Style.

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ABC Intentionally Goes Overtime With Lost?

tvOne of the shows I record with my DVR is ABC's Lost. We're winding down the series and us Losties are looking for answers, dammit! The final episode will air May 23, 2010.

I record the show, which means I grab the CTV feed from 9pm to 10pm each Tuesday. I've noticed an unsettling trend. The show has been running about 62 minutes, or two minutes past my recording time. Trust me, you don't want to miss the last two minutes of this show.

Is ABC intentionally going overtime with Lost to mess with those of us who choose to record it and skip the ads?

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