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Don't Let Your Oozing Open Gash Fester For 5 Days

medicalA mere 8 days ago, I openly complained about my various aches and pains. You weren't supposed to read that entry, but you can read this one. This entry is about what an idiot I am.

My back healed up nicely enough that I was able to play 3rd base for my comp team Wednesday night. I don't remember playing a better defensive 3rd base in my life, but this is about my slide into 3rd as a base runner. I did what I do a couple of times each summer and stripped the skin pretty good. That was 5 nights ago.

The wound refused to settle down and stop oozing. I cleaned it, applied polysporin and tried wrapping it up, but this afternoon it was still leaking profusely. I decided to show the nearby pharmacist and do whatever I had to do to heal this thing.

She took one look at it and told me I had to see a doctor and get antibiotics. Luckily there was a clinic next door.

The clinic doc said it was totally infected and ordered me to emergency for an IV. A prescription wasn't going to cut it. Like I said, I'm an idiot.

So now I've got a date every 24 hours with an IV. Its pretty bad, apparently. It turns out you're not supposed to let an oozing open gash fester for five days. Who knew?

Here's the wound just before they cleaned it up. See ya again tomorrow, St. Joe's!

Wound

And the first person who asks whether I was out or safe on the slide into third gets permanently banned from this site.


Roy Halladay is Perfect

baseballRoy Halladay pitched a perfect game for the Philadelphia Phillies yesterday in their 1-0 win over the Florida Marlins.

It's no surprise. Roy Halladay is the the best starter in baseball, the greatest Blue Jays starter of all-time and I once sat in the stands at SkyDome while he no-hit the Tigers for 8.2 innings. You just knew one day he'd be perfect.

Here's how he did it:

Marlins 1st: Chris Coghlan called out on strikes. Gaby Sanchez strikes out swinging. Hanley Ramirez grounds out, second baseman Chase Utley to first baseman Ryan Howard.

Marlins 2nd: Jorge Cantu strikes out on foul tip. Dan Uggla strikes out swinging. Cody Ross grounds out, third baseman Juan Castro to first baseman Ryan Howard.

Marlins 3rd: Brett Hayes pops out to second baseman Chase Utley. Cameron Maybin flies out to centre-fielder Shane Victorino. Josh Johnson strikes out swinging.

Marlins 4th: Chris Coghlan grounds out, second baseman Chase Utley to first baseman Ryan Howard. Gaby Sanchez lines out sharply to centre-fielder Shane Victorino. Hanley Ramirez called out on strikes.

Marlins 5th: Jorge Cantu grounds out, second baseman Chase Utley to first baseman Ryan Howard. Dan Uggla flies out to centre-fielder Shane Victorino. Cody Ross grounds out to first baseman Ryan Howard.

Marlins 6th: Brett Hayes strikes out swinging, catcher Carlos Ruiz to first baseman Ryan Howard. Cameron Maybin grounds out, shortstop Wilson Valdez to first baseman Ryan Howard. Josh Johnson flies out to left-fielder Raul Ibanez.

Marlins 7th: Chris Coghlan called out on strikes. Gaby Sanchez lines out to left-fielder Raul Ibanez. Hanley Ramirez called out on strikes.

Marlins 8th: Jorge Cantu grounds out sharply, third baseman Juan Castro to first baseman Ryan Howard. Dan Uggla called out on strikes. Cody Ross pops out to shortstop Wilson Valdez.

Marlins 9th: Pinch hitter Mike Lamb flies out centre-fielder Shane Victorino. Pinch hitter Wes Helms called out on strikes. Pinch hitter Ronny Paulino grounds out, third baseman Juan Castro to first baseman Ryan Howard.

Halladay's perfect game is just the 20th in Major League history. It couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy, I just wish he had done it one season earlier.


Dennis Hopper, Dead at 74

In MemoriumDennis Hopper was 74. He was the actor best known for directing and starring in the 1969 cult classic "Easy Rider."

I loved him in True Romance.

And as Shooter in Hoosiers.



Gary Coleman, Dead at 42

In MemoriumGary Coleman was 42. He was the child star best known for his stint on "Diff'rent Strokes," which aired from 1978 to 1986.

I loved Diff'rent Strokes as a kid, but I was first introduced to Gary Coleman in The Kid with the 200 I.Q.

Whatchu talkin' bout, everyone.


Perfect Weather, Perfect Company, Perfect Weekend

campingWhat an amazing weekend. The weather simply couldn't have been better and we had an absolute blast.

I got a lot of sun, a few mosquito bites, enjoyed outdoor movies, three campfires, plenty of sports and activities and great meals. It really was the perfect weekend.

Here are some photos from our trip. I'll catch up on what I missed later, I've got a tee-ball game to attend...

Camping with Michelle Camping with Michelle Camping with Michelle Camping with Michelle Camping with Michelle Camping with Michelle Camping with Michelle Camping with Michelle


Father - Daughter Time

familyI've got a son and a daughter. My son, who's the oldest of the two, loves playing baseball and hockey and doing "guy things". He likes to do this stuff with his dad, so I spend a lot of time with him at baseball diamonds, at hockey rinks and messing around.

Although I try to get my daughter to do similar things with me, she far prefers her dance class and playing with her friends. For whatever reason, I don't seem to score these gigs, either because I'm working or busy with James' many activities. I don't often get extended periods of quality father - daughter time.

That's changing tomorrow. For the first time ever, my daughter and I are going on a camping trip together. We're pitching a tent and enjoying a couple of nights under the stars, just the two of us.

I can't wait.

Family Portraits by LMP


Art Linkletter, Dead at 97

In MemoriumArt Linkletter was 97. He was host of People Are Funny, House Party and Kids Say The Darndest Things.


Why This Leafs Fan Is Rooting For Chicago

Stanley CupYou've no doubt heard that the Chicago Blackhawks haven't won the Stanley Cup since 1961. That's significant because it's the longest current drought in the NHL.

You've no doubt heard that the Toronto Maple Leafs have the 2nd longest current Stanley Cup drought in the NHL. My Leafs haven't won it all since 1967. If the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Philadelphia Flyers in these Stanley Cup finals, my Toronto Maple Leafs will be the answer to that old bar trivia favourite.

Maple Leaf haters, namely Habs fans without a rooting interest, are cheering for the Blackhawks for this very reason. They think it will hurt us to hold this streak of futility. They think it will crush our spirit and break our hearts. They think it will sting.

I'm a lifelong, loyal and devout fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and I want the Chicago Blackhawks to win the Stanley Cup. I want my team to hold this record. I want it to feel all that much better when we finally do win it all and hoist Lord Stanley's mug.

Go Blackhawks Go!

Related:


The History of 97.3 - From Easy to Boom

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.

I've been listening to Boom 97.3 since it launched last Boxing Day. If you're looking for some 80s stuff, I recommend checking it out.

Before becoming Boom 97.3, it was EZ Rock since 1995. Before EZ Rock, 97.3 was a classic hits station known as Z 97.3FM, but it didn't start that way. It started as Easy 97.3, Toronto's easy listening music station.

Here's an old ad for Easy 97.3, a station I'm certain I would have hated.



It Really Felt Like '93 - Montreal Canadiens Eulogy 2009-10

NHLThe Barilkosphere has produced a great eulogy for the Montreal Canadiens' 2009-10 season. This gem comes courtesy of Bloge Salming and Down Goes Brown.

Here are the lyrics so you can sing along at home:

I believed it was meant to be
And it felt a little bit like 93
With flailing hands we held them high
But then the Flyers came along and they made us cry
We used to talk about Stanley Cups
But now the conference finals is good enough
So if we just won a game in the second round
Then let's burn this city right to the ground

Here's a rap from the rubble of Montreal
Where we used to expect that we'd win it all
The cigars got lit and the champagne flowed
But I guess you could say that was a long time ago

These days the forum ghosts have got pretty quiet
So when we win a round then it's time to riot
I thought we used to brag about 24?
Guess it don't take as much to impress us anymore

"Because we were the eight seed, that's the reason."
Well, yeah, because we sucked for most of the season
From October through March it was losing streaks
But then we got hot for three whole weeks.

Now we're all in love with Jaroslav Halak
Going to pay big dollars now to bring him back
But you're a Hab for life, bro, we got your back
Of course we said the same thing to Georges Laraque

You have one bad game and when you leave the ice
You're going to hear us chanting loud for Carey Price
But don't blame us it's just how we roll
We can be a little tough on the guys in goal

We might be hard to please but now we're rubbin'
One or two out to PK Subban
We know that his defence can be pretty bad
But he's still the best prospect we've ever had

You see we don't draft guys who can help win games
But we do draft guys who have got french names
And that's why this year will always make us smile
Cause we're not getting this close again for a while.

I believed it was meant to be
But instead we got sent home in round three
Our flailing hands are held up high
While the cop sprays pepper spray in our eyes
We used to talk about Stanley Cups
But now the conference finals is good enough
So if we just won a game in the second round
Then let's burn this city right to the ground

So here's a little shout out from around the league
From the fans out there of the other teams
Let's raise a glass and send up a call
And make sure they can hear us out in Montreal

This is for the Habs fans with the attitude
For the guys getting drunk and acting rude
For the US anthems that you booed
For the tiny little hot dogs you call food

For the fans who act like they think they're better
For making our school kids read The Sweater
For the pomp and the hype and the made up curses
For the punched out linesmen and the stolen purses

For the nightly pre-game banner raisings
For the nightly post-game frat boy tasings
For the loudmouth fans and their ole oles
For the loser rubbing shoe polish on his face

For the centennial and for your barber poles
For your ghosts and your luck and your waived off goals
For the dives and the faking that made us sick
For Too Many Men, and for McSorley's stick

For the non-stop talk about 24
For the knowledge that you're never going to win one more
For the broken windows and the burnt out cabs
Shout it one more time y'all, [bleep] the Habs

I believed it was meant to be
But our forwards look a little like five-foot-three
So let's find some old guy
And raise another number up to the sky
We used to talk about Stanley Cups
But now the conference finals is good enough
So if we just won a game in the second round
Then let's burn this city right to the ground

I believed it was meant to be
But instead we got a Puck Daddy eulogy
So let's watch the police helicopter in the sky
And party on the streets and try not to die.
We used to talk about Stanley Cups
But now the conference finals is good enough
So if we just won a game in the second round
Then let's burn this city right to the ground


My Thoughts on the Lost Finale

tvI watched the finale of Lost on Sunday night. It was 2.5 hours long, but fast forwarding the ads allowed me to blow through it in about 1:45.

Warning: I'm going to spoil the shit out of this episode below. If you plan to watch the finale, you might want to stop reading..... now.

When Lost concluded at about 11:30 that night, I initially felt cheated. Where were the answers? Sure, they sort of explained the whole alternate reality thing, but I still want to know why women couldn't have babies on the island. I have a lot of questions, actually, but this finale didn't seem particularly keen on answering them.

Instead, we got what could best be described as closure. All our friends were reunited, and the last ten minutes were actually rather calming and sweet, but there weren't any answers. The more I thought about it, the more I was okay with a lot of the island's mythology and secrets being kept bottled up. And the closing scene, with Jack seeing he wasn't dying in vain before closing his eyes where he first opened them six years ago, was pretty near perfect.

If you wanted answers, you hated this finale. If you needed an emotional send off to good friends, you loved this finale. I initially thought I wanted #1, then realized I needed #2.


For Cheryl as Her Habs Are Eliminated

puckThe Habs have just been ousted from these Stanley Cup playoffs. They won exactly nine more games than I thought they would, but ding-dong the witch is dead.

I'm not going to gloat... my Leafs didn't make the playoffs, and I'd give anything right now to witness 9 playoff victories in one post-season, so I'm going to collect all the comments left on this blog by a Habs fan named Cheryl.

First there was my appearance on The Team 990 where I made a bet with Metric Julie. Cheryl didn't like that.

Right on.  Go Habs go.  I didn't like that thing.  I'm a Habs fan.

No no, Leafs have no chance.  Go Habs go.

No no, the Leafs won't win the cup.  The Leafs are not the best.  Go
Habs go.

I lost that bet with Metric Julie. Cheryl chimed in again.

I'm from toronto, but I'm a Habs fan.  Go Habs go.  Habs will win.
Habs and Coyotes to the finals.

Even if I wrote about going to a TFC match, she was there.

Yes, Habs in DC.  Habs will win.  Washington isn't that good at all.
Habs all the way.  Habs and Coyotes to the finals.

I then wrote about the Sens being eliminated, and she was ready to pounce.

No, the Habs do not suck.  The Habs are great.  The Sens may suck, but
not the Habs.  Habs and Coyotes to the finals.

An entry I wrote about the final four series was blessed with four visits from Cheryl.

Habs all the way.  Yes, they lost yesterday, but they're going to win
it in six or seven.  My habs will win the cup again.  Just wait.  Go
Habs go.  My Coyotes are out.  Who cares about the rest.

Habs are going to win.  Halak is unbeatable.  So they lost on Friday,
but they will win today and win the series in six or seven and then no
more Penguins.

I told you so.  habs won.  Habs in six or seven if it goes that far,
but maybe Habs in five.  Penguins have no chance.

Of course, the Habs are going to win.  So they had a bad day last
night.  Tomorrow they'll win and they'll win on Saturday and monday.
Halak is going to be unbeatable again.  you'll see.  Go Habs.

I wrote an important message to Habs fans from Leafs fans, and Cheryl was there.

The Habs are going to win.  This is it.  They're going to win the cup.
Sid the Kid isn't that good honestly.  The Pens have no chance.  The
Habs are really going to win the cup.  There is no way anyone can stop
them now.  Go Habs go.  Just get used to saying that.  They are really
going to win.

Well, I told you so.  Habs all the way to the cup.  They are going to
win it.  The Flyers or Bruins have no chance at beating the Habs. Habs
all the way.

The Habs will win the cup.  Halak is that good.  The Flyers have no
chance.  Nobody is going to beat Halak.  Go Habs go.  Get used to
saying that.  The Leafs won't win the cup any time soon.  I hate the
Leafs.

Finally, I had enough and wrote If You Love The Leafs, You Hate The Habs.

Well, this year a Canadian team will win the cup, the Habs. I am a Habs
fan, but I live in Toronto.  I've been a Leafs hater for life and that
will never change.

As I said, I'm a Habs fan.  I've always been a Habs fan.  I live in
toronto, but have always loved the Habs for years.  This blog may be a
nightmare, but the Habs won't choke.  Just wait and they'll beat the
Flyers.  Halak is so good.  He won't allow the Flyers to score, not
even on the power play.

If we bet on it, I would win.  The habs are that good.  I am going to
cheer for my Habs.  You'll see.  They'll win tonight.  Just wait.
Halak will stop every Flyer he sees.

I'm not happy.  My Habs lost.  This sucks, but this is just one game.
I have faith.  The Habs will win the next one.  They'll come back.  I
know they will.  The flyers had their win.  Habs in six or seven.
Trust me.  Go Habs go.

Habs are going to win.  Trust me.  The game last night was a real
fluke.

Another fluke game last night and the Habs lost again.  Trust me.  The
Habs are going to win the cup.  They'll win the next four.  It will be
Habs in six or seven.

A follow-up call to arms resulted in a similar barrage of Cheryl comments.

I am cheering for my Habs.  Yes, my wonderful Habs.  They are going to
win tonight.  I am not a Leaf fan.  I never was and never will be.  The
habs will win this round in six or seven.  The Flyers won't win
tonight.  There's just no way.  Get used to it.  Halak will be on his
game again.  The Habs will win big time and if you don't like it,
that's just too bad.  Go Habs.

I told you the Habs would win.  Leighton has come back to life.  See,
he's not so good and neither are the Flyers.  They're going to be
toast.  Habs all the way to the cup.  Yes, they're going to win the cup
so get used to it.  Go Habs go.

Habs are going to win to even the series.  Just wait.  The Flyers are
out of gas.  Go Habs go.  On the way to the Stanley Cup.

Well, the Habs got shut out.  This sucks.  This was another fluke game.
 It won't happen again.  Habs in seven.  They will win the next two to
get to game seven and win game seven.  Honestly, the Habs won't go
away.  They're going to win the cup like it or not.  The cup is theirs.

Habs in seven.  Like it or not and I am not doing your crazy bet.  No
thanks.  I just know that the Habs won't win the cup.  See, afterr
Washington was winning three to one, the Habs come back.  After
Pittsburgh was winning, the Habs come back.  The Flyers will be toast.
They got lucky so they won yesterday.  It won't happen again because
Halak will shut the Flyers down.  Trust me.  The Habs are going to win
the cup, like it or not.

Habs are going to win tonight.  Just wait.  Habs all the way to the
cup.  They will win the cup.  Now the Flyers fans can cry because they
are going to lose.

Cheryl, I'm going to miss you.


We All Fall Down: Awesome Perspective From Concrete Stencil

SunNear one of the weirs in Etienne Brule Park, by the banks of the Humber River here in Toronto, there are these concrete barriers. As you can see by the pictures below I snapped this morning, a series of these barriers have fallen.

Humber river

Humber river

The natural born explorer inside of me had to hobble down to take a closer look. That's when I saw the hidden piece of perspective stencilled upon the bottom of one of the fallen slabs of concrete.

We all fall down

We all fall down. Awesome perspective finally uncovered.


Jose Lima, Dead at 37

In MemoriumJose Lima was 37. He was an All-Star right-hander who spent 13 years in the major leagues, going 21-10 with a 3.58 ERA in 35 starts for the NL Central champion Houston Astros in 1999.


Do Not Read: Old Man Bitching and Moaning Inside

medicalThis entry isn't for you. This one is for me. You can dive into the archives if you're looking for something to read.

I woke up this morning feeling fine. At about 9:30, I took a stroll down the hall to the washroom. About half way to my destination, I decided to reach down and pick up a shirt that was hanging on the railing. That's when my back spasmed and in an instant it didn't just hurt to stand up, it hurt to breathe.

I've never been overcome with such back pain so suddenly doing nothing. I played ball Wednesday night and Thursday night, but this was Sunday morning and I was fine until the spasm. I managed to hold my breath and get myself on my back, where I lay motionless wondering how I was going to get through the day. I downed two percocets left over from last year's separated shoulder and tried to understand what the hell just happened.

I eventually found the strength to lie in a hot bath, and the percs kicked in so that I could actually get outside and enjoy the BBQ I was hosting, but the back muscle I pulled is still aching. If you think this is old man bitching and moaning, you ain't seen nothing yet.

About four weeks ago, playing hockey, a player fell awkwardly on my left arm. Initially, I thought it was broken, and was very relieved when I realized it wasn't. Although functional, my left arm has been in severe pain ever since. It's pretty useless, actually, and every night I awaken at least once with pain in this arm from sleeping on it. I'm still hoping it will eventually go back to normal.

I mentioned my separated left shoulder from last year. I got that injury playing hockey, and I wake up every morning with pain in my left shoulder because of it. I've now come to grips with the fact I'll probably have pain in my shoulder every morning for the rest of my life. I'm just glad I can play hockey, baseball and volleyball again.

In 2007, I wanted to run a marathon. I still remember the 19km run during which my body broke down. Despite countless hours of physio therapy, including ART therapy and frequent visits to a renowned sports doctor, as well as x-rays, MRIs and a complete bone scan, I haven't been able to run more than 3km without unbearable pain since. My right leg even starts getting tender with pain following back-to-back baseball games or really long walks. I no longer want to run a marathon, but I would absolutely love to run a 5km race again.

For a long time following my torn ACL and broken leg injury incurred during a slo-pitch game in 2003, my left leg would buckle. I actually took six months off of all strenuous physical activity because it was so unstable. That was one of the worst six months of my life.

As a younger man, I remember the long road back from a serious leg fracture when I was in grade two, and a less serious injury to the opposite leg when I was in grade nine. All of these injuries over my 3.5 decades of life, along with my terrible bio-mechanics and an inability to play sports without thinking it's game seven of the Stanley Cup finals have created the perfect storm for what plagues me daily. I hurt all over.

If you're reading this entry, you're not very good at following instructions. You weren't supposed to read this one. This one is for me, an old man bitching and moaning.

Maybe it's the percocets talking, or maybe it's the back pain merging with the arm and shoulder pain, but I'm 35 years old and have the body of a 65 year old. I'm Wendel Clark without the complete awesomeness. I hurt in so many places so often, my entire existence is now managing the pain and maintaining my body so I can keep playing. Because I need to compete.

After-all, It's game seven of the Stanley Cup finals.


The Hurt Locker Review

Movie ReviewThe Hurt Locker: 8 out of 10.

Last night, I finally got around to watching the movie that won the Academy Award this year for Best Picture. That fact alone sets expectations pretty high.

It's a great film, suspenseful and action packed and supported by good acting and an interesting storyline, but is it Best Picture-worthy?

No, but neither is Avatar. This begs the question: If The Hurt Locker isn't Best Picture-worthy, and Avatar isn't Best-Picture-worthy, what movie should have won for Best Picture?

I'm thinking it should have been Up. It was never going to be Up, but Up was probably the best movie I saw from 2009. The Hurt Locker was great, but it was no Up.

hurt-locker-1


Broken Social Scene Movie From Bruce McDonald

musicI think I'll like This Movie Is Broken, Bruce McDonald's new film. It tells the story of fictional lovers Bruno and Caroline in their quest to score tickets to a BSS concert. It was written by Don McKellar, and features a whack of fan-sourced footage of the band in concert.

Fellow Broken Social Scene fans will likely love this as well. Here's the trailer.

[via Mondoville]


Nike's Write the Future World Cup Ad: It's Good

videoI hear there's some big soccer thing taking place this summer. When it comes to International soccer, Canada is never represented, so I've always made my ancestors proud by rooting for Ireland.

I'm told there is no Ireland this year, so I'm without a rooting interest. If there's a country you think I should cheer for in the World Cup, let me know in the comments.

And if you haven't yet seen the full length version of Nike's Write the Future ad, check it out below.

Yeah, it's good. And no, it doesn't make me want to buy Nike. I wear Asics.


My Pac-Man Sheets

rewindI just read that Pac-Man is 30 years old. As a kid, I loved Pac-Man. In fact, my bed was adorned with Pac-Man sheets.

I don't have those sheets anymore, and I remember they were quickly replaced by Dukes of Hazzard sheets, but these were them:

PacManSheets

pacman

If I find them on eBay, I wonder if my wife will let me put them on our bed...


Reminder to Leaf Fans Still Cheering for Montreal

LeafsIt's a gorgeous day in Toronto, and I've got a ball game to play, but I understand there's a hockey game tonight.

This entry serves no purpose except to tell everything a very interesting discussion has emerged in my If You Love the Leafs, You Hate the Habs: It Is Written entry. You might want to click on over and throw your two cents at it.

Also, I did a little interview on this subject with OpenFile. You can read their article here.

Go Flyers Go!


Jr. Jays Club Official Membership Kit

bluejaysI want to thank Shikatani Lacroix and the Blue Jays for sending my son a Jr. Jays Club Official Membership Kit.

When I was a kid, I think I would have loved this. Membership has its privileges, and the kit came with a ball, blue jay Webkinz, Travis Snider card and some other pretty cool stuff.

Jr jays club

But the best part of James' new Jr. Jays Club Official Membership Kit? Batting practice visits!

BlueJays Kit


An Open Letter To Vince Carter

Vince CarterHey Vince, remember me!

I loved you, man. You were our Rookie of the Year, Air Carter, you were our Michael Jordan. I was at your 51 point game against the Suns. I cheered the loudest when you won the slam dunk competition. I busted a television when you missed the buzzer-beating three in game seven against the 76ers and I constantly defended you when others called you lazy, fragile or worse. You remember me now, don't you?

Here are a few entries I wrote about you. As you'll see, there were peaks, followed by a rather deep valley. I'll let you catch up on our tumultuous history before I get to the point of this letter.

  1. The EA Sports Jinx - October 2, 2003 @ 12:53: I'm concerned that Carter is on the cover of EA's NBA Live 2004. There is that jinx and I want Carter to stay healthy.
  2. Mike's Mailbag - October 29, 2003 @ 15:03: I inaccurately predict the Raptors will make the playoffs in 2003/2004. I add a caveat that Carter must remain healthy for this to happen.
  3. Vintage Vincent - November 27, 2003 @ 08:04: I'm gushing over the great Vince Carter after he scores 43 and carries the Raps on his back. I also reminisce about the 51 point game of his I attended.
  4. Not In-Vince-able - January 17, 2004 @ 14:00: Carter injures himself once again and I brace for the worst. I even compare him to Wendel Clark.
  5. Mr. Popular - January 30, 2003 @ 11:09: Carter leads the league in all-star votes for the fourth time and I try to figure out why he's so damn popular.
  6. Guest Blog Entry - January 30, 2004 @ 15:45: For the first time, I publicly admit in this space that Vince could be traded. I also admit that he's not the second coming of Michael Jordon. "If you had brought up the subject of trading Vince Carter a couple of years ago, I would have laughed in your face."
  7. It. Is. Over. - March 27, 2004 @ 11:04: I was pissed when I wrote this entry. The Raptors were going to miss the playoffs yet again and I knew something had to give.
  8. Vin-sane - July 2, 2004 @ 09:04: ESPN reports that Carter wants to be traded and I try to digest the news. "Vince is our star and it will hurt to watch him suit up for another team."
  9. The End of an Era? - July 14, 2004 @ 10:55: Rumours were swirling that Carter was on his way out and I thought we were in the final hours of the Vince Carter era in Toronto. "The writing's on the wall and we have to accept it."
  10. Carlos and Vince - July 16, 2004 @ 21:37: I found it interesting that it was becoming incredibly likely that both Carlos Delgado and Vince Carter would be leaving Toronto. Still, I held on to a semblance of hope that Carter could stay. "It's entirely possible we're cheering Carter's name on opening night as he stays with the Raps. I'm hoping he does because players with his talent are few and far between."
  11. Guest Blog Entry - July 20, 2004 @ 14:48: I admit I'm completely torn about the whole Vince Carter saga. "I'd like him to stay, play hard and lead us back to the playoffs where he can shine on a bigger stage."
  12. My Sports Wishlist - September 22, 2004 @ 08:23: Carter makes my sports wishlist as I wish he'd stop being such a suck, rescind his trade demand and play his ass off.
  13. 41 Reasons to Kick Ass - November 3, 2004 @ 13:11: The Sporting News ranks Carter the 41st best player in the NBA and I see this as a positive, potentially lighting a much needed fire under Carter's butt. "This gives Carter 41 reasons to kick ass this season."
  14. More Than 41 - November 23, 2004 @ 07:56: It didn't take long to realize that Vince Carter wasn't going to perform for the Raptors the way Vince Carter can. "When we finally do trade this major disappointment, we'll likely get little of value in return. Then, without a doubt, Carter will kick it up a notch and shoot the lights out for his new team."
  15. The Vince Carter Era Ends - December 17, 2004 @ 17:36: Vince Carter is traded to the New Jersey Nets. "It's time to move on my friends."
  16. Vince Carter Is A Dick - January 7, 2005 @ 15:36: What a surprise... Carter actually tries for the Nets and admits he didn't give his all for the Raps. "I used to defend Vince Carter when others wanted to get rid of him. Now, I wish him nothing but the worst. F him"
  17. Formerly Known As Air Canada - February 22, 2005 @ 12:02: The Raptors first game in New Jersey against Vince. "#15 quit on us and started lighting it up the moment he was out of here. Lets humiliate the bastard."
  18. NBA Championship Tonight - April 15, 2005 @ 07:52: Vince's first game in Toronto since the big trade. "Go Raps! Beat Vince!"

Vince, you've moved on to the Orlando Magic and you're in the conference final, but you're down 2 games to 0 against the Celtics. Although I'm over you and I've moved on, I'm going to ensure you never win an NBA Championship. It's not going to happen. Not on my watch.

With every vibe in my body and every ounce of my soul I'm hoping karma is a total bitch to you. I can't wait to see you eliminated once more.

Sincerely,
Toronto Mike

FUVC


Publishing Your SSN May Result in Identity Theft

moneyI was just reading about LifeLock CEO Todd Davis. In the USA, LifeLock ads prominently display his Social Security Number. Fellow Canadians can think of a Social Security Number like their Social Insurance Number.

Here's one such ad:

todd-davis

If you think putting your SSN in an ad is a bad idea, you're right.

He’s been a victim of identity theft at least 13 times, according to the Phoenix New Times.

That’s 12 more times than has previously been known.

In June 2007, Threat Level reported that Davis had been the victim of identity theft after someone used his identity to obtain a $500 loan from a check-cashing company. Davis discovered the crime only after the company called his wife’s cellphone to recover the unpaid debt.

About four months after that story published, Davis’ identity was stolen again by someone in Albany, Georgia, who opened an AT&T/Cingular wireless account using his Social Security number (.pdf), according to a police report obtained by the New Times. The perpetrator racked up $2,390 in charges on the account, which remained unpaid. Davis, whose real name according to police reports is Richard Todd Davis, only learned a year later that his identity had been stolen again after AT&T handed off the debt to a collection agency and a note appeared on his credit report.

Then last year, Davis discovered seven more fraudulent accounts on his credit report that were opened with his personal information and have outstanding debt, according to the police report.

Someone opened a Verizon account in New York, leaving an unpaid bill of at least $186. An account at Centerpoint Energy, a Texas utility, was delinquent $122. Credit One Bank was owed $573, and Swiss Colony, a gift-basket company, was seeking $312.

In addition to these amounts, Davis’s credit report showed five collection agencies were seeking other sums from accounts opened in his name: Bay Area Credit was pursuing $265; Associated Credit Services was seeking two debts in the amount of $207 and $213; Enhanced Recovery Corporation was chasing $250 and $381.

I take it this LifeLock service doesn't actually work.


Joy Division - Transmission

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 Joy Division - Transmission
Ian Curtin killed himself 30 years ago yesterday. He was Joy Division's songwriter and lyricist and he took his life on the eve of Joy Division's first North American tour.

A few Joy Division tunes seem to always make my playlists. "Atmosphere" and "Love Will Tear Us Apart" are great, but I like to start with "Transmission".


Why I Love Gmail

googleI was just sending an email from my Gmail account when Gmail prompted me to ask me if I meant to attach a file. Gmail did this because I wrote "I am including" in the body of the email and failed to attach anything.

gmail

Just another reason why I love Gmail.


Super Mario Gets Gas

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.

I honestly don't remember the Super Mario promotion at Sunoco. I don't think I saw this ad, because as a huge Super Mario fan, I wouldn't have forgotten.

Side note: I realize the past couple of days when comments are left it's often timing out with a "Internal Server Error" error. I'm going to dig a little deeper tomorrow and see what's causing that. Then, I'm gonna fix it!

Just know your comment is publishing, even if you think it's conking out on ya.


Ronnie James Dio, Dead at 67

In MemoriumRonnie James Dio was 67. He was a singer with the bands Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio, whose powerful, semioperatic vocal style and attachment to demonic imagery made him one of the best-loved figures in classic heavy metal.

If you want to see some great Dio footage, watch "Metal: A Headbanger's Journey". Here's my review of that very cool documentary.


Arabesque Wants You to Understand

emailI got an email from Arabesque. Here's what he had to say:

Mike

I'm contacting you in regards to my project possibly being featured on Toronto Mike. I'm a Juno nominated artist out of the city, just released a video for my song "Understand," off my album Nuclear Ambition (being released June 1st).

Understand is essentially the plight of landed immigrants as they struggle to assimilate. I used student associations from Ryerson, UofT and York to help paint a picture of the Toronto mosaic.     

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPpzC5mCPuA
Audio: http://www.zshare.net/audio/7611896964f0a538/

Any feature on the site would be appreciated, as I'm sure it will strike a chord with a lot of folks..

Thank you again for your support.

Best,

Besque

Here's Arabesque's "Understand".



Lost Finale: The Promo, The Plan and The Hope

tvI'm all caught up. I just watched the Man in Black and Jacob episode that explains the origin of The Monster.

The second last episode will air Tuesday night. It's called "What They Died For". The 2.5 hour series finale airs next Sunday. It's aptly titled "The End".

Here's a home brewed promo for next Sunday's Lost finale. It's airing at 9, so I'm thinking I should start it at 9:50 to finish close to real-time without ads. Note to self: avoid Twitter at 9 sharp to avoid spoilers.

I hope they don't fuck it up.


Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen Review

Movie ReviewTransformers: Revenge of the Fallen: 3 out of 10.

I enjoyed the first Transformers movie. I liked it enough that I saw it once alone, once with my son and again with both my son and my daughter.

Man, did they lose their way with this sequel. It was brutal. I watched it with my son, who seemed to really enjoy it, but I was thoroughly bored by the halfway point and just hoping for it to end. Unfortunately, it kept going and going and going.

A long, boring, stupid movie that's all style over substance is bad enough, but they introduced a couple of Jar Jar Binks to really murder any positive memories I had lingering from the first one.

I know I'm a year late, but if you haven't yet invested 2.5 hours in this steaming pile of shite, don't do it in the hopes it can't be that bad. It is.

transformers_2_blue_head_poster1


Edge 102 One Step Closer to KROQ

radioYou know that dead horse we like to beat over here? No, not that one, the other one. Yeah, I'm talking about CFNY a.k.a. Edge 102.

I just got this message from Brendan:

Brendan here - I just emailed Loriann from 102.1 The Edge to confirm but the edge has added KROQ's Loveline with Dr. Drew to their weekly line up Sunday to Thursday at 10 pm - 12 am. The big deal I had is that this removes The Spirit of the Edge (retro show) from the Sunday Night line-up. She did confirm that they will still do the show from the Velvet Underground on Long Weekends with DJ Hannah spinning retro. But no more weekly studio show featuring retro and classic alternative. Looks like they are one step closer to becoming their dream KROQ rip-off station.

It's far from surprising that Edge 102 would cancel their The Spirit of the Edge program to replace it with KROQ's Loveline with Dr. Drew. They cancelled Punkorama earlier this year, lost The Strombo Show to CBC Radio 2, and... aw heck, if you want to read the real-time account of the demise of this once great station, it's recorded in reverse chronological order right here.

Farewell, The Spirit of the Edge retro show. Hello Dr. Drew Pinsky.


Transformers Were More Than Meets the Eye!

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 1984, I was all about Transformers. That Christmas, Optimus Prime was the top gift I asked for. As I recall, I got Sideswipe, but it was still pretty awesome.

I'm thinking about my old Transformers because my son wants to watch Transformers 2 right now. I've read enough about Transformers 2 to know I'm going to be disappointed, but fatherhood can't be all sunshine and lollipops.

Daddy should be thinking about Megan Fox, but instead he's thinking about this:



If You Love the Leafs, You Hate the Habs: It Is Written

LeafsIf another supposed Leafs fan tells me they're cheering for the Habs, I'm going to blow. The commonality amongst the people I'm hearing this nonsense from is that they're all young. It seems our youth thinks it's okay to love the Leafs and root for the Habs.

When I ask these young Leaf fans why they're cheering for Montreal, they give me the same two reasons:

  1. They're a Canadian-based franchise, and we should root for a Canadian team
  2. They're underdogs, and we should root for the plucky underdog

Kids, let me be clear: under no circumstance is it okay for you to cheer for the Montreal Canadiens if you love the Toronto Maple Leafs. There are no exceptions. Should Montreal face Ottawa in the conference finals, you cheer for an influenza outbreak that suspends the season.

Luckily, Montreal isn't facing Ottawa in the conference final. Montreal's facing Philadelphia, and that means for the next couple of weeks I'll be rooting with all my might for the Philadelphia Flyers. Normally, I strongly dislike the Flyers, but in this situation, as a die-hard Leafs fan, the choice is clear. Actually, it's not a choice at all.

If you know a young, ignorant, misguided Leafs fan who has decided to cheer on the Habs during these playoffs, please direct them here. We need to put an end to this despicable nonsense. Again, so there's no misunderstanding: If you love the Leafs, you hate the Habs. There are no exceptions.

habssuck


50 Greatest Hip-Hop Samples Of All Time = Webtopia

linkThanks, Kon + Amir. I never heard of you until this morning, but I now know you're veteran record collectors, DJs, and producers. The reason I'm thanking you is because I just discovered Kon + Amir Present: The 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Samples Of All Time.

I have a very serious warning for everyone else before you click through that link. If you have shit to get done today, don't click. Seriously. If you're anything like me, this collection, complete with audio samples, is the best this web has to offer. It's just awesome.

Ok, I think you've been fairly warned. Dive in, if you dare.

You're welcome.


The Denial Playlist

musicIs this real life?

How should I start to build my denial playlist? Five songs jump out at me.

  • Denial - Dropkick Murphys
  • Denial - Ozzy Osbourne
  • The Denial Twist - The White Stripes
  • Denial, Revisited - The Offspring
  • Eraser (Denial; Realization) - Nine Inch Nails

That's a pretty good start.


Charlie Francis, Dead at 61

In MemoriumCharlie Francis was 61. He was the sprint coach most noteworthy for being the trainer of sprinter Ben Johnson, the first competitor to be stripped of an Olympic gold medal for using banned drugs, and sprinters Angella Issajenko, Mark McKoy and Desai Williams. Francis was banned by Athletics Canada following his admissions at the 1989 Dubin inquiry that he had introduced Johnson to steroids.


Important Message From Leafs Fans to Habs Fans

stanley cupI don't have to tell you about the hockey game tonight. You already know it's the Penguins vs. Canadiens, game 7 of the conference semi-final. I'm playing a slo-pitch game at 6:30, but immediately following the final out I'm directing all my energies and vibes to Sid the Kid and the Pens. I passionately want the Habs to end this ridiculous playoff run.

I tweeted as much this morning, and started getting offers from Habs fans to join them.

tweet

Here's an open and important message to all Habs fans from yours truly.

leafs


Dave Chappelle! Where the Hell Are You?

question markExactly five years ago today, I wrote about Dave Chappelle.

The Associated Press is reporting at this hour that Dave Chappelle has checked himself into a mental health facility in South Africa. "It seems like the issues he's contending with are really quite serious," said Dade Hayes, a senior editor at Entertainment Weekly. "It isn't a case of him spending a weekend someplace recuperating from exhaustion."

This isn't a rehab centre to beat an addiction to drugs, this is exactly what I suspected. The imbalance that plagues Chappelle is precisely the trait that aided in producing one of the funniest human beings on the planet. The greatest comedians are always afflicted with such psychoses. I'm certain there's a correlation.

For Chappelle's benefit, lets hope this edge can be dulled to a healthy point. It's a fine line between genius and madness and I fear Chappelle just tumbled over it.

That was five years ago. I considered Dave Chappelle to be one of the funniest guys on the planet. Since then, he put out Block Party, but that's about it. Unless I missed it.

Where the hell is Dave Chappelle? I miss him.


G-20 Summit Delays Roy Halladay's Return to Toronto

JaysOn June 25, 26 and 27, the Phillies were to play here in Toronto. That would have meant the return of Roy Halladay, greatest Blue Jays starter of all-time. That would have been cool.

Now the G-20 Summit has gone and screwed that all up. Security concerns, because the G-20 takes place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, have the series moving to Philadelphia.

So no Roy this season. That blows.

Roy


Steve Nash: Brilliant Freak of Nature

nashSix years ago, I called for Steve Nash to be named NBA MVP. That eventually happened. Twice.

Five years ago, I called for Steve Nash to be named Prime Minister of Canada. That hasn't happened. Yet.

I was just catching up on my RSS feeds when I read Rick Hodge's take on Steve Nash.

They say Einstein could see light. Ted Williams could see the seams on a 100 mile an hour fast ball. Mozart didn't just write notes, he could see the notes. Gretzky knew where his teammates were going be before they did. Vision, anticipation. Their world moves in slow motion. They see things we can't. That's how Steve Nash plays basketball.

I agree 100% with Rick Hodge. Steve Nash is a virtuoso who plays basketball with a hockey player mentality. Tim Duncan’s elbow to Nash’s face last night wasn't enough to keep Nash on the bench. Steve Nash returned to the game with his right eye swollen shut and still finished with twenty points and nine assists.

stevenash

Nobody plays basketball like Steve Nash. Nobody. Appreciate this brilliant freak of nature while you can.


Lena Horne, Dead at 92

In MemoriumLena Horne was 92. She was the enchanting jazz singer and actress who reviled the bigotry that allowed her to entertain white audiences but not socialize with them, slowing her rise to Broadway superstardom.

In 1943, MGM Studios loaned her to 20th Century-Fox to play the role of Selina Rogers in the all-black movie musical "Stormy Weather." Her rendition of the title song became a major hit and her signature piece.


Tarantino's Favourite Shot

moviesI love Quentin Tarantino movies.

Tarantino has a few shots he likes to use in each of his films. He really likes this one:

tarantino


Mother and Mom Songs for Mother's Day

musicHere's a list of songs from my collection with "Mom" or "Mother" or "Mama" in the title.

But be warned, not all of these mom and mother songs are appropriate for Mother's Day.

  • Blueprint (Momma Loves Me) - Jay-Z
  • Child Without Mother - Motherlode
  • Dirty Mother For You - Memphis Minnie
  • Do You Love Me/Mother Popcorn (You Got To Have A Mother For Me) - The Blues Brothers
  • Does Your Mother Know - ABBA
  • Dominion / Mother Russia - The Sisters of Mercy
  • Ernie's Mom - Bob & Doug McKenzie
  • Freak Momma - Mudhoney & Sir Mix-A-Lot
  • Good Mother - Jann Arden
  • Goodbye to Mother and the Cove - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - The Jackson 5
  • I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - John Cougar Mellencamp
  • I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother's Heart - The White Stripes
  • Kyle´s Mom´s A B**ch - Eric Cartman And March Shaiman
  • Momma's Gotta Die Tonight - Body Count
  • Moms - A Tribe Called Quest
  • Mother - Adrian Belew
  • Mother - Pink Floyd
  • Mother - Danzig
  • Mother and Child Reunion - Paul Simon
  • Mother Earth - Memphis Slim
  • Mother May I - Coheed and Cambria
  • Mother Mother - Tracy Bonham
  • Mother Nature - Koko Taylor
  • Mother Nature's Rump - dj BC and The Beastles
  • Mother Nature's Son - The Beatles
  • Mother Nature's Son - Sheryl Crow
  • Mother Popcorn - James Brown
  • Mother Popcorn, Pt. 1 - James Brown
  • Mother Theresa Song - Humble Howard, Fred Patterson
  • Motherless Child - Eric Clapton
  • Mother's Day - blink-182
  • Mother's Letter - Julie Waleters/Jamie Bell
  • Mother's Little Helper - The Rolling Stones
  • Mothers of the Disappeared - U2
  • Mothers Talk - Tears For Fears
  • My Mom - Eminem
  • My Mommy Intro - Montell Jordan
  • No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature - The Guess Who
  • Nobody Loves Me But My Mother - B.B. King
  • Oh Mom... - Adam Sandler
  • Old Mother Reagan - Violent Femmes
  • Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child - Louis Armstrong
  • Tears Of A Teenage Mother - Jasmine Guy
  • Tell Me, Momma - Live 5-14-66 The Odeon Liverpool - Bob Dylan
  • That Was Your Mother - Paul Simon
  • The Mothers - I Mother Earth
  • Tie Your Mother Down - Ted Nugent
  • Tie Your Mother Down - Queen
  • Treat Me Like Your Mother - The Dead Weather
  • Volvo Driving Soccer Mom - Everclear
  • Welfare Mothers - Neil Young & Crazy Horse
  • Your Mother Should Know - The Beatles
  • Mama Told Me - Wale
  • Mama I Love You (Legal Riddim) - Sean Paul
  • Mama Do - Pixie Lott
  • Mama Oo Pow Pow - The Cramps
  • Look Mama - Howard Jones
  • A Song For Mama - Boyz II Men
  • Mama Told Me (Not to Come) - Randy Newman
  • Ya Mama - Pharcyde
  • Fine Little Mama - Elmore James
  • Big Time Mama - Champion Jack Dupree
  • Peach Orchard Mama - Big Joe Williams
  • Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut - The Ugly Ducklings
  • Mama Told Me Not To Come - Wilson Pickett
  • Mama, Won't You Keep Them Castles in the Air and Burning? - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • Hey Mama - Black Eyed Peas
  • Dear Mama - 2Pac
  • Mama'a Just A Little Girl - 2Pac
  • Do It For Mama - Adam Sandler
  • Mama Kin - Aerosmith
  • Mama's Always On Stage - Arrested Development
  • Mama Don't Smoke - Bran Van 3000
  • Mama - Genesis
  • Papa Loved Mama - Garth Brooks
  • Mama Kin - Guns N' Roses
  • Mama, Look At Bubu - Harry Belafonte
  • Home To Mama - Johnny Favourite Swing Orchestra
  • Hey Mama - Kanye West
  • Mama Said Knock You Out - LL Cool J
  • Mama Said - Metallica
  • Mamacita - OutKast
  • Mama, I'm Coming Home - Ozzy Osbourne
  • Hey Foxymophandlemama, That's Me - Pearl Jam
  • Your Mama Don't Dance - Poison
  • Mama's Boy - The Ramones
  • Hey Lawdy Mama - Steppenwolf
  • Rag Mama Rag - The Band
  • Mama's Boy - The Bloodhound Gang
  • Mama's Pearl - The Jackson 5
  • Mama I Gotta Brand New Thing (Don't Say No) - The Jackson 5
  • Mama Told Me (Not to Come) - Three Dog Night
  • My Mama - Triumph The Insult Comic Dog
  • Mama, You Got a Daughter - John Lee Hooker
  • Does Your Mama Know About Me - Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers
  • Mama Tried - Merle Haggard
  • Mama Told Me Not To Come - Three Dog Night
  • Mama - Genesis
  • Mama Said Knock You Out - L.L. Cool J
  • Mama Look ...A Boo Boo - Howard Stern
  • Mama You've Got A Daughter - John Lee Hooker
  • My Black Mama Pt. II - Son House
  • Tell Mama - Etta James
  • La Mamma Morta - Maria Callas
  • Mamma Mia - ABBA

Update: I've added "Mama" songs. You can't have a Mother's Day playlist without the mama tunes. Thanks Elvis, for the reminder. Elvis always did love his mama.

Update 2: I've added "Mamma" songs. You can't have a mom / mother / mama playlist without that damn ABBA song.


Mothers are Pretty Awesome

Happy Mothers DayI have a great mother. I love her very much and I want to wish her a very happy Mother's Day.

My two angels have a great mother. They love her very much and I want to wish her a very happy Mother's Day. The only thing better than having a great mom is knowing your kids have a great mom.

My mom has a mother she loves very much and I want to wish her a happy Mother's Day. My nephews each have a mother they love very much (even if one doesn't know it yet) and I want to wish them both a very happy Mother's Day. Hell, if you're a mother, Happy Mother's Day!

Here's some sweet CanCon that says it all:

I've got money in my pockets,
I like the colour of my hair.
I've got a friend who loves me,
Got a house, I've got a car.
I've got a good mother,
and her voice is what keeps me here.

Cue Jann Arden...


The Cove Review

Movie ReviewThe Cove: 8 out of 10.

Now don't get me wrong, The Cove is a great documentary about some bad shit going down in Taijii, Japan. I really liked it. But The Cove won the Oscar for Best Documentary, and it's not that good.

Off the top of my head, I can think of a couple of documentaries I watched last year that were superior. Anvil, for example. And Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father.

But you should see it, cuz it's good. Unless you really, really like dolphins, in which case this is a bit of a snuff film.

the-cove


Angels & Demons Review

Movie ReviewAngels & Demons: 7 out of 10.

I should just copy and paste over my review of The Da Vinci Code. I didn't read that book and I didn't read Angels & Demons. In both instances, I heard negative press, and watched the movie cold.

I'm almost ashamed to admit I didn't mind Angels & Demons. It was kind of interesting, and very nice to look at. It's a little long, but if it's on demand and you've already paid for the TMN subscription, give it a whirl.

angels_and_demons2


Twitter Nation: An Interview with Paul Madden All About Twitter

MicrophoneNext month, I'll be attending the Search Engines Strategies 2010 Conference and Expo here in Toronto June 9-11. One of the sessions, entitled Twitter Nation, includes Paul Madden on the panel. Paul is the owner of Crea8 New Media and he was nice enough to answer a few Twitter questions for me.

Toronto Mike (TM): As a blogger, I originally saw the benefit of Twitter as an RSS alternative of sorts; a way to push content to subscribers. Then, after using it for a few weeks, I realized it was a great deal more. Why should people be on Twitter?

Paul Madden (PM): I also came to look at Twitter initially as a distribution method for my work and there is little doubt that it does that task in a great way. RSS offers an easy way to distribute content but Tweets offer not only a distribution channel but also an opportunity for people who enjoyed the content to further distribute the link onwards.

But as you say its so much more than simply a method to promote content, its a community where people can feel connected to others who they wouldn't be able to reach out to in normal ways, its a brand builder for companies to put forward their message as part of the conversation. Its also a real time customer service tool and reputation management suite.

And away from the use in business Twitter represents a profound shift in the real time spread of news and comment in a way that the search engines and traditional media have struggled to replicate.

So in answer to "Why should people be on Twitter?" I think its hard to find many good arguments for why people shouldn't be on Twitter.

TM: It seems every good and services company has a Twitter account these days. If a company isn't on Twitter, are they missing out?

PM: Twitter offer companies so many advantages that I feel its very short sighted if they aren't taking advantage of them today. From offering a way to reach out and converse with their customer base to a way of promoting their brand and growing new business Twitter is an effective tool. Many companies have learnt quickly that by offering up someone to act as their representative on Twitter they can put a human face on their brand and start to join in with the conversations about their niche and brand in a way that provides them with the sort of feedback that they wouldn't realistically get through any other medium.

TM: What role can Twitter play in B2B marketing strategies?

PM: I think that if the company can open up and become more transparent in their plans and workings then Twitter offers an opportunity for them to truly learn what their customers want and need. It also allows companies to form direct personal relationships with people regarded as influencers in their niche and can therefore offer a powerful method for any brand to launch and promote their message in a cost effective and efficient way.

TM: I love the real-time aspect of Twitter. A Twitter search gives you a great reading of the current zeitgeist. Is search the future of Twitter?

PM: I am not sure it represents the future of search, I do think it represents an important component of what search will become. I think that Googles rushed attempt to integrate real time results into their search results really docent do that well though. I still find that if the search I want to do is about a news or topical subject searching Twitter directly has now replaced Google as my default place to start.

Normal searches and research still relies for me on Google and their link and trust based algo. I can understand though why Google rushed to incorporate the real time Tweets into their results but the current implementation is rather poor.

I do agree that Twitter has recognised the power that search provides them and whilst it isn't their reason to exist it probably represents their best option for profit in the coming years.

TM: I've got to know, how does Twitter eventually make money, considering so many of us use the service without ever visiting twitter.com?

PM: That is their biggest challenge in my opinion. I cant understand why they haven't started serving Adverts in an Adwords style in their search results on Twitter.com. Given the volume of traffic and the fact that people are used to seeing ads in the context of search this seems a no brainer to me.

The challenge though, as you rightly point out, is that a large proportion of users never actually use their site directly and instead access their data via clients like Tweetdeck etc.

This means that to get any revenue from their data they would either have to charge the clients for the data and they would therefore have to move to a subscription or ad supported model (Dangerous for the growth of the platform). Alternatively they would have to find a way of getting revenue from the data itself, serving ads into the stream, charging business for use on verified accounts etc.

There is a huge amount of danger in any of those options for them but they will have to face up to the revenue question soon, for me it probably makes more sense for them to sell to someone interested in acquiring their user base.


Jays STAT: Angry Little Girl or Happy Cat?

bluejaysWe're living in an era of information overload. Between the RSS feeds and Twitter, there's not enough time in the day to absorb all the data. I mean, my kid has a t-ball game today, and my wife wants to watch The Cove before she loses me to the NHL playoffs again.

I root for the Toronto Blue Jays. There was a time when I never missed an inning, either tuning in on TV or listening to Tom and Jerry on CJCL. That time has passed, but I still need to know if our last game was a good one or a dog. Thanks to the simplistic beauty of Jays STAT, I absorb my Jays updates in brilliant micro nuggets. I get the score, and either an angry little girl or a happy cat. Oh yeah, and lens flare. We can't forget the lens flare.

With a quick glance, you know the score and you know who to praise or who to blame. Lens flares? Yeah, we got 'em. Happy cat? Yeah, we got him too. Don't forget the Angry Little Girl. If we see her less that 80 times this season, consider 2010 a success.

jaystat

I actually subscribe to the Jays STAT RSS feed and hope for lots of happy cats. We've had five in a row!

Here's the update from a recent comeback victory. If you're a Jays fan, introduce yourself to Jays STAT.

jaystat2


Alpha-Getti Gobbler Rewind

rewindLike most things, it started with a spontaneous thought. "You're the Alpha-Getti Gobbler!" I blurted to my 2.5 year old daughter. I hadn't thought of the Alpha-Getti Gobbler in years, but that day in 2007 he popped back into my head.

The Alpha-Getti Gobbler was a flying spaghetti monster-like creature that was featured in a television ad for Alpha-Getti I saw numerous times as a kid. He didn't exist on the web. Google searches didn't reveal a single image or piece of video that showed what the Alpha-Getti Gobbler looked like.

A year later, Ryan Barnett was Googling the ad and found my entry. Ryan Barnett was one of the three children in the Alpha-Getti Gobbler ad and he had the advertisement on DVD. That sparked this Gobbler alert.

Ryan emailed me the ad, I posted it on YouTube that day, and we had our Alpha-Getti Gobbler. Here he is:

Ryan agreed to an interview during which he spilt all the deets on the Alpha-Getti Gobbler. He also sent me an updated pic:

Ryan

I found my Alpha-Getti Gobbler.


George Carlin for 104.5 Chum FM

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 1988, 104.5 Chum FM aired an ad featuring George Carlin. Carlin was a legend, but even legends need to pay the bills.

And yes, he closes the ad with a promo for Roger, Rick & Marilyn. What ever happened to that Rick guy?


PROUD FM Firings: What's Going on at 103.9?

radioJust last month I took a tour of PROUD FM, the first radio station in Canada targeted specifically to an LGBT audience, and the first commercial terrestrial LGBT radio station in the world.

My contact there is Bob Willette, PROUD FM program director and former producer of the Humble and Fred show. Yes, Bob Willette is Bingo Bob. We use the PROUD FM studio to record our Humble and Fred podcasts.

Yesterday, PROUD FM fired four hosts.

The morning show team of Deb Pearce and Patrick Marano and the afternoon team of Shaun Proulx and Mark Wigmore have all been let go following, Proulx says, the foursome's insistence on a joint meeting with station manager Bruce Campbell.

The morning show and afternoon show are the most popular spots, and to fire both teams in one flail swoop is pretty unusual.

I sent Bob an email last night asking him if anything interesting happened at work. His official fit-for-print statement is this: "what happened is a private affair between Proud FM and the affected individuals. The differences are private in nature and won't be revealed by the company to the media at this or any other point."

Others suggest the Evanov Radio Group, the station's owner, has an ulterior motive. The CRTC is about to approve an application to increase power of PROUD FM to 250 watts from its current 50 watts. Evanov also owns Z103, and this could be a ploy to repeat Z103 in Toronto with the stronger downtown signal.

From what I've heard about the Evanov Radio Group, it's certainly not beneath them. What's going on at PROUD FM?

Humble and Fred @ PROUD FM


Ann Rohmer Quits CP24

TVAnn Rohmer, a face you know best from City TV where she was host of Breakfast Television and an anchor at CP24, is leaving her role as host of CP24 Breakfast in mid June.

After 31 years in broadcasting and 25 years at 299 Queen Street West, Ann Rohmer has decided to hang-up her microphone mid-June, CP24 announced today. Rohmer is currently host of CP24 BREAKFAST, HOT PROPERTY, and ANIMAL HOUSE CALLS, in addition to her duties behind the anchor desk. Rohmer will remain the special guest host of ANIMAL HOUSE CALLS on CP24 and Animal Planet but has taken a position outside of the broadcast industry. Rohmer will break the news to her viewers Thursday morning on CP24 BREAKFAST.

They're spinning this as quite the amicable split, claiming Ann is quitting her job. I ain't buying it. This announcement reeks of spin doctoring and I'd bet my bottom dollar Ann was pushed.


Gwyn "Jocko" Thomas, Dead at 96

In MemoriumGwyn "Jocko" Thomas was 96. He was the Toronto Star's chief police reporter for 60 years.


The Hold Steady - Stay Positive

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 The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
Last week, Hockey Night in Canada opened with this tune. It worked perfectly against a montage of action from the best sports has to offer: the NHL playoffs.

The Hold Steady is a Brooklyn-based rock band comprising Craig Finn, Tad Kubler, Galen Polivka and Bobby Drake.


Ernie Harwell, Dead at 92

In MemoriumErnie Harwell was 92. He was the Detroit Tigers broadcaster for 42 years.


Treme: It's Good

tvA lot of people have been asking me lately what I think about Treme, the new HBO series from the folks behind The Wire.

The Wire, you see, blew my feeble little mind. It's my favourite show of all time. Naturally, I was psyched about Treme and have been watching. Here's the good news for y'all...

It's good. Actually, it's very good. It seems in in Wire-like fashion and grips you. It doesn't hurt that we get to see Freamon and Bunk.... Hell, I'd recommend it for the music alone.

treme

Watch Treme, the best show on television right now.


Happy Star Wars Day

starwarsIt's a shame I only get to pull this one out once a year. It's a classic.

May the Fourth be with you.

starwarsday


HNIC Intro Features Gord Downie's Retrace

musicHockey Night in Canada opened yesterday with a montage set to Gord Downie's new single, "Retrace".

Actually, proper credit goes to Gord Downie and the Country of Miracles. His new album The Grand Bounce drops June 8.



Lynn Redgrave, Dead at 67

In MemoriumLynn Redgrave was 67. She was a member of the famed Redgrave acting dynasty noted for her roles in "Georgy Girl" and "Gods and Monsters."


Another Item Crossed Off the Bucket List

baseballMy son grew too quickly. I mean physically. He's always been way bigger and taller than his peers, so he's always struggled with gross motor skills, trying to figure out what goes where and how to put it all together.

My son is playing tee ball this season at High Park. There's two games a week and a practice. For the past six weeks, we've been working on his catching. He's got a great arm, and I'm not worried about the batting, but his catching and fielding needed work. Luckily, I've always dreamt about playing a long game of catch with my son under a sunny blue sky.

Yesterday afternoon, before the hockey game, it all came together. I can cross another item off my bucket list.

Future hall of famer


Obama Killed, Leno Wilted at White House Correspondents Dinner

humourLet's get the bias declaration out of the way. I like Obama, I dislike Jay Leno. There, it's out there, now let's move on.

Last night, at the 2010 White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, D.C., President Obama was very funny. He's been very funny before. In this clip, you can watch Obama's routine followed by Jay Leno's routine at the 17-minute mark.

There's no comparison. Obama killed, Leno wilted.


Creationism Propaganda for Children Caught on Camera

XXXThis video is making the rounds. It's creationism propaganda for children captured on camera.

The whole notion of the bible being treated as "the history book of the universe" is pretty disgusting. It reminds me of the Creation Museum we all laughed at last summer and For the Bible Tells Me So, a great documentary about how religious leaders use the bible to promote hate.

Way back in 2004, I read a statistic that continues to blow my mind. 37% of Americans wanted the teaching of 'evolutionism' replaced outright by this silliness they call creationism.

It baffles me that in 2010 this kind of nonsense continues. I just feel for these poor kids who have been brain washed at such a innocent and malleable age. There oughta be a law...


My Thoughts on the Four Remaining NHL Series

Stanley CupI absolutely adore the NHL playoffs. There's nothing like it in sports, in my humble opinion. It makes the NHL regular season feel like exhibition games.

Now that we're in the second round, and since it's all about me, here are the series I'm digging and not digging and the exciting reasons why.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens

pit mon

This is my favourite series right now, because it includes both my favourite remaining team and my least favourite remaining team. I hope the Pens crush the Habs and show no mercy. If I were building a team from scratch, I'd pick Sidney Crosby first overall.

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins

phi bos

This is my least favourite series right now, primarily because I despise both teams. Can they both lose?

I'm watching game one right now and rooting softly for Philadelphia, so I can stop hearing about Tuukka Rask.

San Jose Sharks vs. Detroit Red Wings

san2 det

I grew up just hating the Detroit Red Wings. It was the Norris Division rivalry, and I couldn't stand them. Then, with guys I liked like Brendan Shanahan and Steve Yzerman leading the charge, it became harder and harder to hate them. Today, I don't mind them at all, and I sort of like watching the Sharks falter spring after spring.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Chicago Blackhawks

van chi

The next Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup has to be my Leafs. As a result, I'm physically incapable of actually rooting for the Canucks. 40% of my playoff pool plays for Vancouver, so I don't mind them going another round, but that's it.

But Chelsea Dagger is a great tune, so in this series, I'll just root for overtime every game.


April 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 April 2010.

  1. toronto mike
  2. sandra rinomato breasts
  3. eric tunney
  4. teri polo death
  5. tuukka rask trade
  6. big shiny tunes 2
  7. boom 97.3
  8. high park cherry blossoms
  9. big shiny tunes 5
  10. rick hodge

#5 on this list really irks me. When we traded prospect Tuukka Rask to Boston for Andrew Raycroft, I initially hated the trade. But then, the more I thought about it, the more I thought Raycroft could return to form and Rask might not pan out. Besides, we had Justin Pogge.

in hindsight, that was a brutal trade for the Leafs. Every day I see visitors hit that years old entry and it all comes back. It's like living in hell.



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