May 2011 Archives
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I've been calling for a Winnipeg Jets mulligan. The Jets were an easy team to like, and I wanted the team back in Winnipeg. I closed that entry with a simple plea: Bring back the Jets.
A deal has been reached to bring the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg. They'll play next season. As of this moment, they haven't announced their name.
This team has to be called the Jets. The NHL owns the rights to the name, and they have no issue with it returning to Winnipeg. In my opinion, there is no alternative. An NHL team in Winnipeg is the Jets. End of story.
What do you think Winnipeg's NHL team should be named?
I've been listening to The Sheepdogs' Learn & Burn album. The big hit single is "I Don't Know" and it's fantastic.
Here's the official video. Every time I hear it, and it's getting a lot of airplay, I think about the Guess Who.
Now that you heard that, listen to this. I could pick just about any Guess Who hit, but I'm going with "Hand Me Down World" from the post-Bachman Share the Land album.
It's no coincidence. Both bands hail from the prairies. All I know is that it sounds great.
Gil Scott-Heron was 62. He was the poet, musician, and author known primarily for his work as a spoken word performer in the 1970s and 80s, and for his collaborative soul works with musician Brian Jackson. He was the man behind such seminal pieces of music as “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” and “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”.
I'm late with this one... Gil Scott-Heron passed on Friday. I received the following note late last night via the contact form.
No RIP for Gil Scott-Heron? He didn't really skip your generation did he?
I'm in my mid-thirties. I've been listening to music from various genres for as long as I can remember. Gil Scott-Heron's contribution to music has been seriously under reported.
In fact, I only know of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" because one of my favourite albums of all time, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, by one of my favourite bands of all time, Public Enemy, opens with this:
Peace. Armageddon has been in effect, go get a late pass... step. This time around the revolution will not be televised…step. London, England... consider yourselves... warned!
I'm getting a late pass myself. I have some catching up to do.
I've written about the High Park Zoo before. If you're looking for deer, llama, various sheep and goats, yaks, bisons, peacocks and more, why drive all the way to the Meadowvale Road and 401 and spend a fortune?
The kids and I were checking out the aforementioned deer, llama, various sheep and goats, yaks, bisons and peacocks, and noticed some new signage, including an answer to the question you've likely asked yourself countless times. What happens to the poo at the High Park Zoo?
The zookeepers collect the poo every morning and take it to the manure pit. Once a week, the poo is collected by a large tractor and taken to a compost pit in the High Park service yard. There, the poo is left to break down or decompose. The poo is turned so the air can reach to the middle of the pile, and is then left to continue decomposing. The finished product is called compost and is rich in nutrients. It is then used in the gardens and flower beds of High Park to make the plants grow.
Personally, I think that story is full of shit.
Jeff Conaway was 60. He made his name playing bad boy Kenickie in the movie Grease and as struggling actor Bobby Wheeler in the sitcom Taxi.
I need you guys to be honest here... Feel free to use an alias to protect your identity.
Do you buy your music or do you download it illegally?
If you buy, how do you buy? Do you buy from iTunes or Amazon or another web outlet or do you still purchase CDs?
If you download illegally, what's your preferred method? Do you have a favourite torrent network?
Fess up and be honest...
In the late 80s, I played Paperboy on my Nintendo Entertainment System.
It first became one of my favourite games in the arcade where me and my buddy Chris would spend countless hours and quarters delivering newspapers along a suburban street.
As I recall, Paperboy was our go-to game until Wonder Boy, and Wonder Boy had us until the local variety store brought in Xenophobe.
Believe it or not, those graphics once blew my mind.
The Jays lost yesterday. It was Jo-Jo Reyes' 28th consecutive start without earning a victory, matching the major league record.
Reyes hasn't been the winning pitcher since June 13, 2008, when he beat the Los Angeles Angels as a member of the Atlanta Braves. His 28-game winless stretch matches that of Matt Keough, who didn't win a game for the Athletics from September 6, 1978, to August 8, 1979.
Jo-Jo Reyes can't win, but he can still start for our Toronto Blue Jays.
Pete Griffin was 81. He and David Haydu formed the comedy duo Pete & Geets, hosting a morning-drive radio show on CHUM-FM in the early 1970s that was later revived between 1982-1987 on CFNY.
Here's some great audio of Pete and Geets, originally shared here.
I once interviewed my buddy Freddie P about the Pete and Geets show, and asked him what it was like to be a part of it all. Here's what he told me:
Pete and Geets were fantastic. They were Canada's pioneer FM morning show, and here's what I mean by that. In the early days of CHUM-FM they changed the way morning radio was done.
Less music, more talk, irreverent instead of corny and they didn't yell at you like the am morning shows did. When they came to CFNY in 1980, it got even better.
I often find it amusing how much credit Howard Stern gets for bringing a different style of morning show to radio, but his "style" was being established by Pete and Geets before Stern was even out of college. But without the tits and ass.
And of course, Pete and Geets never got the credit they deserved, mainly because they never had huge ratings. But as we've learned over the years, ratings doesn't mean quality.
The current ratings system is a joke and has robbed Toronto of a lot of good radio over the years.
It sounds like I missed something special. Glove tap to @mondoville for letting me know about this loss and helping me verify his age.
Months ago, a lovely gal from JUZD Streetwear Clothing reached out to me, wanting to give me a shirt.
JUZD is based in Toronto and are currently the one and only bamboo designer label on the planet, so I accepted the shirt, and this is the very shirt they sent me:
I've yet to wear it. I simply don't think I can pull it off. I mean, check out the model wearing my new shirt and tell me I have an adequate level of style.
Dare I wear this JUZD shirt?
Here in Canada, today is Victoria Day. This holiday is in celebration of Queen Victoria's Birthday.
Hold on just a moment. We get a holiday devoted to some Queen of Britain who's been dead for over a hundred years? Surely we can do better than that. Where is our Canadian pride?
I suggest we re-brand today's holiday Terry Fox day, or Wayne Gretzky day or John Candy day or even Steve Nash Day.
Leave your suggestions in the comments. What Canadian deserves this day more than Queen Victoria?
My fascination with the WWF peaked in 1987, just in time for WrestleMania III at Michigan's Pontiac Silverdome.
My favourite match in WrestleMania III was Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Ricky The Dragon Steamboat. Here's a great little synopsis of the match, in honour of the Macho Man's premature demise.
Damn, that was fun.
Discuss "Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Ricky The Dragon Steamboat at WrestleMania III" (2 comments so far)
"Macho Man" Randy Savage was 58. He was one of the most famous WWF superstars of all-time.
I always loved Macho Man. In fact, less than a month ago, I wrote about his epic rap career. I highly recommend you visit Macho Man's Rap Career Was Epic for more memories of the Macho Man, including a few cuts from Be A Man, an album I'll bet you don't own.
Rip Macho Man. Ooh yeah!
I'm watching old footage of Macho Man, from the glory days of WWF wrestling. Here's Macho Man and Mean Gene Okerlund.
And here's Macho Man and the lovely Elizabeth at home, being interviewed by Mean Gene.
Sadly, Macho Man now joins Elizabeth on the lengthy list of Wrestlemania III stars who have passed away.
Do my eyes deceive me or are we looking at a long weekend of 20-something temps? Oh, I see scattered showers on Sunday and Monday. That's more like it!
But wait... will we care about the forecast on Sunday and Monday when The Rapture leaves us behind tomorrow?
Use the comments of this entry to discuss The Rapture, your long weekend plans whether chosen or not or whatever's on your mind. Repent, people!
Mammas don't let your babies grow up to be radio DJs. In radio, you're hired to be fired. And you don't get to say goodbye.
This entry started on Twitter. Mike Gamble let me know about LoriAnn and Darrin Pfeiffer's dismissals, and LoriAnn herself chimed in.
I first learned LoriAnn was fired from 102.1 The Edge in a comment on this blog on February 11th. In an email exchange with LoriAnn tonight I confirmed she was fired on February 10, told by Edge management "we're going in a different direction and unfortunately it affects your employment".
That's literally all she was told. She's not 100% sure what happened with Darrin Pfeiffer.
I believe they told him that they'd keep him on staff for emergency fill in and situations where they had nobody else... and after a few months re evaluated that and asked him what he wanted and he said let me go. Thats just hearsay tho.
The one good thing about being fired from radio is that you can't take it personally. All the greats have been canned once or twice during their career. It's a rite of passage.
I used to watch a little call-in sports show on Cable 10 called Let's Talk Sports. I wrote about Let's Talk Sports over six years ago if you want to read a little more about my memories of this cheesy local sports show from yesteryear.
The hosts were Mike Wilner and Aaron Lobel. We all know what happened to Mike Wilner: he's host of Jays Talk on The Fan 590 and one of the top Jays reporters in the city. But what of Aaron Lobel?
Thanks to a twitter exchange with Mike Wilner yesterday, we know what happened to Aaron Lobel, and it might surprise you.
From America Abroad Media:
Aaron Lobel founded America Abroad Media (AAM) and serves as the organization's president and chairman of the board, as well as executive producer of America Abroad and AAM Television. Mr. Lobel received a Ph.D. in International Affairs from Harvard University's Department of Government, where he was also awarded the University's top teaching award, the Joseph Levenson Prize. Prior to founding America Abroad Media, Mr. Lobel was a Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C.; National Security Fellow at the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University; and a National Security Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he edited Presidential Judgment: Foreign Policy Decision Making in the White House (Hollis Press 2001).
Mr. Lobel currently serves on the Advisory Board of Business for Diplomatic Action, Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE), a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is a consultant to the Bipartisan Policy Center. Mr. Lobel is a native of Toronto, Canada. He lives in Washington, D.C with his wife and son.
I'd still prefer to fill Mike's shoes than Aaron's.
I hear there's a Rapture scheduled for May 21, 2011. Christian radio host Harold Camping says May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment "beyond the shadow of a doubt". Who am I to argue with Harold Camping?
If this Saturday is the Rapture, and only 200 million people will be raptured, I'm betting I'll be left behind. That's going to suck five months from now when the world ends.
I have two questions for everybody: Is there a Rapture this Saturday and are you one of God's elect people?
This is the greatest sports montage I've ever seen. I've watched it three times now, and each time I got chills.
As a commenter pointed out, to call this video epic is to under serve the visuals. It's uber-epic, and the best montage I've seen since All Heart.
I warned you about the chills, didn't I?
Harmon Killebrew was 74. He was the affable, big-swinging Hall of Famer whose tape-measure home runs made him the cornerstone of the Minnesota Twins.
It's May 17. June is right around the corner. On my drive into work this morning, I had to put on the heat.
Did spring sleep in? Will somebody wake her up?
Join me as we mass complain about the weather. You'll feel better, I promise.
Even before his 3-home run game yesterday, you heard the chatter. Jose Bautista is the best player in baseball today.
Bautista, who led the majors with 54 home runs in 2010, is batting .415 with 13 homers and 21 RBIs his last 19 games. He's actually ahead of last year's pace when he didn't reach 16 homers until May 30.
Jose Bautista and I got off to a rocky start. Last August, I asked him to slow the fuck down. How dare he just show up and suddenly threaten my favourite Blue Jay of all-time's record for homers in a season.
Then, when it became apparent he was going to demolish George Bell's 47 dingers, I accepted reality. By the end of the season, he had 54, and I was proud of all 54 of 'em. His 2010 season was bananas!
And here we are, on May 16, and I'm crazy about the guy. The best player in baseball plays for my team and he's... wait for it... way better than George Bell ever was. There, I said it. Jose Bautista is better than George Bell.
Chime in if you agree Jose Bautista is the best player in baseball today.
I usually throw this entry down on a Friday, but I thought I'd mix it up a bit.
Use the comments of this entry to discuss anything you want. Or everything you want. Go nuts.
Derek Boogaard was 28. He played 277 regular-season games with the Minnesota Wild and the New York Rangers over six seasons, accumulating three goals and 13 assists and 589 penalty minutes.
In the World Hockey semi-finals between Finland and Russia, Mikael Granlund just scored one of those hot dog goals everyone tries in rec hockey. You'd have to see it to believe it. Luckily for you, I have it right here:
It's legal, but there's something about this goal that bugs me...
Mel Queen was 69. He had a brief stint as the Toronto's interim manager in 1997 and served the Blue Jays in numerous roles, including director of player development and pitching coach.
Browsing my Shoppers Drug Mart flyer, I got excited to see this was "Dollar Week".
I'm thinking a bunch of stuff will only cost a dollar! That would make anyone excited. I'll bet you're excited reading about it right now.
My smile turned into a frown as I continued reading...
"Dollar Week" to Shoppers Drug Mart merely means some things will cost X dollars. X could be anything. As you'll see in the cap above, that skin tag remover is $25. $25 qualifies for Dollar Week because it's got no cents.
This is an outrage!
I've never liked Sean Avery. He doesn't like us, either. Our dislike is mutual, but I believe in giving credit when credit is due.
Sean Avery's appearance in a PSA for the Human Rights Campaign in support of gay marriage in New York is both brave and commendable. He's a jerk, but here he is standing up for what's right.
Damian Goddard, Sportsnet host, disagrees with Sean Avery, and let his views known to the world via Twitter. Here's a couple of Damian Goddard tweets at @heydamo. Todd Reynolds, by the way, is a sports agent who called out New York Ranger Sean Avery for supporting gay marriage. He tweets as @uptownhockey.
Damian Goddard has since been fired by Sportsnet. Sportsnet, understandably, doesn't want their on-air personalities promoting discrimination.
Take it from the guy quoted on page 376 of Perspectives on Ideology, all citizens are equal under the law, regardless of skin colour, religion, culture or sexual preference. For once, I'm siding with Sean Avery.
Ken Hitchcock is starting Jonathan Bernier over James Reimer in Canada’s quarter-final against Russia at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.
All Reimer did was go 4-0. Methinks Hitchcock could learn a valuable lesson from Ron Wilson...
I dig this story.
Paul Simon performed at the Sound Academy on Saturday night. Rayna Ford called out to the legendary singer-songwriter to play the song Duncan, saying it was the first song she learned to play on guitar.
He heard her, and motioned for her to step on the stage and play it.
Rayna doesn't just have a cool name, she's pretty cool under pressure, too.
Jordy plays first base, roves and catches for Raging Storm, my competitive slo-pitch team. We swept a double header Friday night, so I promised to help her promote her Toronto Taste raffle that helps Second Harvest, an awesome charity I do work for occasionally.
The details are below in Jordy's email. Please buy a raffle ticket to help Second Harvest.
I was wondering if you could help promote an amazing raffle that we have going on right now.
We’re raffling off a brand new FIAT 500 (as well as a trip to Mexico, Weber BBQ and a 10-piece knife set).
Here’s the link to the prize details - http://www.torontotaste.ca/win#raffle
We’ve only printed 7,000 tickets. If someone would like to purchase tickets they need to call 416.408.2594.
$10 each, 3 for $25 and 10 for $80. All money raised will help keep Second Harvest trucks on the road picking up and delivering fresh surplus food to those in need.
Lemme know if this is doable!
I made my annual pilgrimage yesterday to High Park to take pictures of the Somei-Yoshino cherry trees. The window of bloomage for these cherry blossoms is pretty small, so if you want to get your shots I wouldn't wait too long. Today would be perfect.
Here are a few of my favourite pictures of the High Park cherry blossoms, followed by a slideshow of all my shots. Enjoy nature's fireworks.
If you're hungry for more, check out my new High Park cherry blossoms category page.
Seve Ballesteros was 54. He was a five-time major golf champion whose passion and gift for imaginative shot-making invigorated European golf and the Ryder Cup.
Everything is happening... Since the last Open Mike we've had the Royal Wedding, the death of Osama bin Laden, a Conservative majority, the firing of Humble Howard and the release of new Beastie Boys.
Use the comments of this entry to discuss anything you want. Or everything you want.
Prior to this blog starting up in 2002, Humble spent a nice long time with Fred at Edge 102, a.k.a. CFNY, with a brief departure for Humble to Mix 99.9 in 1989. Humble and Fred then moved their morning show to Mojo Radio on AM640. Then, this happened...
- Humble and Fred hired by Mix 99.9
- Fred fired by Mix 99.9, leaving Humble all by his lonesome
- Humble Howard fired by Mix 99.9
- Humble Howard hired by EZ Rock 97.3, joining Colleen Rusholme, Kim Stockwood and Rick Hodge
- Rick Hodge and Kim Stockwood fired by EZ Rock, leaving Humble and Colleen
- EZ Rock 97.3 becomes Boom 97.3
- Humble and Colleen fired by Boom 97.3
I was in High Park this afternoon, and snapped a couple of pics of the cherry blossoms. As you'll see below, they're starting to open. They should be in full bloom by Sunday.
Ideally, they'll be ready for their close up on Saturday when I'd like to take some shots, but it's gonna be close...
Man, am I looking forward to Cameron Crowe's Twenty. Twenty is a documentary about Pearl Jam who mark their 20th anniversary this year.
Here's the teaser trailer:
And here's your Pearl Jam primer.
The following is a guest blog entry, submitted by Michelle. If you have a story you'd like to contribute, don't hesitate to let me know.
Toronto made their annual late-season run towards a playoff spot, but the Maple Leafs still missed the postseason for the sixth consecutive year, and the natives are beyond getting restless in arguably the most hockey-mad market in the NHL (with all due respect to Montreal). The Maple Leafs require a center to put on their No.1 line alongside Phil Kessel, who has averaged 31 goals per year in his two seasons in Toronto with the likes of Tyler Bozak and youngster Nazem Kadri as his set-up men, and general manager Brian Burke will be looking high and low for a true pass-first center this summer.
Brad Richards of Dallas is probably the best option for Toronto to improve their NHL odds on the free-agent market, and he led the Stars with 77 points in 72 games this season. The Stars really struggled when Richards was out with a concussion, and that is the major problem: in this day and age of concussions, how much would Burke be willing to pay for a 31-year-old who has had concussion issues, along with a number of other injuries? Richards made $7.8 million last season and would probably want something similar, and Burke is adamant that he’s not going to overpay anyone.
The other options suffer from the same issues of injuries and age: Buffalo’s Tim Connolly, who was knocked out of the last round of the playoffs against Philadelphia with another possible concussion, and he’ll be 30 in a few days. He made $4.5 million last season, and Burke would probably be able to get him at a discount, but he’s not a No.1 type of player. Jason Arnott and Michal Handzus are 35 and 33 years old, respectively, so they’re out of the picture. Chris Higgins, currently with Vancouver, is 27 and a free agent after the season, but he’s been inconsistent throughout his career. Burke may have to try and pull off one of his wild trades, and it’s going to be a long and interesting summer in Leafs Nation.
Anyone want to take a stab at predicting which free agents are coming here this summer?
This all seems awfully familiar...
In July 2006, I noticed traffic to this site from folks searching 'humble howard fired'. That prompted me to write "Humble Howard, Are You Okay?".
It turns out, he was fired from Mix 99.9 that day, and I unfortunately broke the story. Humble and I became great friends after that, and we remain good friends to this day.
It's happening again. There are visits to this blog from people searching 'humble and colleen fired'. Here's one example:
The first thing I do when I see such an indicator is visit the radio's website. It's usually a dead giveaway. When a radio personality is turfed, they try to erase him or her (in this case both) from the official radio site. I shot over to http://www.boom973.com to hopefully find Humble and Colleen's smiling faces. Sadly, they were noticeably absent from the hosts page.
It's unconfirmed at this point, but once again, we have a lot of smoke here for there to be no fire. Humble, Colleen, are you guys okay? I've confirmed it. Astral has fired Humble and Colleen. Here's hoping they land on their feet.
Toronto, what the hell did you just do?
Prior to last night's federal election, there had never been a Conservative Party MP in the 416. Now there are eight.
Prior to last night's federal election, the Liberal Party dominated Toronto, holding every seat except for Jack and Olivia's. Today, they hold but seven. The NDP now hold eight. If you're keeping score at home, here's how Toronto's 23 seats measure up.
- NDP: 8
- Conservatives: 8
- Liberals: 7
That's a sea of blue, ensuring Stephen Harper was delivered a majority. I'm not going to be overly dramatic here. I'm not leaving this country. But I am concerned with what King Harper will do with his majority. His ego, his right-wing Reform agenda, unchallenged in parliament - eek!
I've got my first three slo-pitch games scheduled for later this week. My comp team's 2nd baseman's dad tweeted what shall be my entry-closing statement.
Why do I feel like the official High Park cherry blossom apologist? Yes, they're late. Compared to the last few years, they're super late. Here it is May 2nd and the High Park cherry blossoms have yet to bloom.
I was in High Park this afternoon, to check on the buds. They're starting to open, but they still need another 4-6 days before peak bloom. I'm hoping this weekend will be the ideal time to take photos of nature's fireworks.
Here are two pictures of our budding cherry blossoms, taken this evening by yours truly.
I'll be back in High Park Wednesday night, so I'll let you know when the cherry blossoms are ready for their closeups.
When it's time, here's your guide to finding High Park's best cherry blossoms.
I received the following email from Jensen this afternoon.
My name is Jensen, avid reader of your blog.
I'm contacting you because I was wondering if you could possibly do a little blog post about an upcoming charity event one of my co-workers is doing at the Shoeless Joe's in Mississauga (80 Courtney Park).
His father passed away earlier this year from Parkinson's Disease. Since I've watched him avidly trying to put together a great event at Shoeless Joe's on Thursday, May 5th. All proceeds from his event will go to the ALS.
Here's a description I have off of his poster:
"1st Annual ALS fundraiser at Shoeless Joe's to support the ALS Society of Ontario. It's Cinco De Mayo so do you really need a reason!!! Raffles and a silent auction table with tons of amazing prizes - MMA glove signed by Jake Shields, laminated Expendables poster signed by Randy Couture, acoustic guitar signed by Sammy Hagar, basketball signed by Toronto Raptor Sonny Weems, James Reimer Signed Rookie Card, TML Ted Kennedy framed signed picture, Rihanna & Sade tickets, toys, fitness items, HHOF passes, Argos tickets, DVDs & BRs, movies passes and loads of other items. Event in memory of my father Wayne Bullard who passed away from Lou Gehrig's Disease in January. So come on out, enjoy a pint, and try to win some amazing items."
No obligation to post anything about this, but I thought it would be a good fit with your readers and I want to make sure he has a successful first event.
Thanks for your time!
Osama bin Laden was 54. He was the founder of the jihadist organization al-Qaeda, most widely recognized for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets.
I've been documenting the deaths of the famous and infamous here for over 10 years, but I've almost never been pleased to publish such an entry. That's not the case tonight.
On September 11, 2001, 2,749 people were killed in Manhattan, 184 people died in Washington and 40 died in Pennsylvania as a result of the worst act of terrorism ever to take place on North American soil. I shared my memories of 9/11 here. Osama bin Laden was responsible, but remained elusive for almost a decade. Osama bin Laden is now dead, words many have wanted to read since the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
How do you feel hearing Osama bin Laden has finally been killed?
Don't forget to vote tomorrow. I'm not going to tell you how to vote, I'm just going to ask that you do. Here's why.
On the last day before our federal election, I'm absolutely sick and tired of seeing political lawn signs. They're everywhere, usually a swath of NDP orange or Liberal red. This is Toronto, after all.
Has anyone ever changed their vote because of a political lawn sign? Seriously, I need to know. Have you ever been influenced by a sign you saw on a neighbour's lawn?
I enjoyed this, so I'm sharing it. That's just the kind of guy I am.
Bill Hammack reveals how "queueing theory" - developed by engineers to route phone calls - can be used to find the most efficient arrangement of cashiers and check out lines. He reports on the work of Agner Erlang, a Danish engineer who, at the opening of the 20th century, helped the Copenhagen Telephone Company provide the best level of service at the lowest price.
I wish we'd switch to a combined queue in our grocery stores.
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