July 2011 Archives

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Today I Don't Feel Like Doing Anything

videosMy kids are crazy about this song. It's "The Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars, and Torontonian K'naan shares a writing credit.

Here's the video they won't stop playing.

Not exactly my cup of tea, but the sentiment is on point.

Discuss "Today I Don't Feel Like Doing Anything" (4 comments so far)


My HP TouchPad Tablet (So Far)

hp touchpadThe good folks at HP were nice enough to give me a TouchPad Tablet PC, and I'm finally getting around to seeing what she's made of.

I didn't already own a tablet PC. I alternate between a desktop running Ubuntu Linux and my work issued laptop which still runs Windows XP. Already, I find the tablet more accessible. It's like an always current issue of your favourite magazine just sitting on the table waiting for you to pick it up and absorb.

This HP TouchPad runs on webOS, which is new to me. It looks good, is easy to multi-task and seems pretty quick. I've spent some time with an iPad, and I own an iPod Touch, so I understand the importance of apps to a device like this. The TouchPad is still missing a number of apps you'd get with an iPad, but I did find an app called Spaz for Twitter.

touchpad 001

Here's a shot of how the muliti-tasking works. A flick of the finger and I can toggle open activities.

touchpad 002

And yes, this tablet plays Flash. Here I am listening to some new Kanye and Jay-Z.

touchpad 003

On the app front, I've found a good one for Twitter and Facebook. I'm still using Google Reader and Google+ in the browser. The email app works fine, but I'd like a good Gmail app for that.

I have noticed that the tablet is great for reading, listening and watching, but when it comes to writing, I'm still reaching for my laptop. I could have written this entry on the TouchPad, but I didn't. My typing speed on a keyboard is still way faster, so I'm only using the TouchPad for single sentence email replies and tweets.

I'll touch base (no pun intended) later to let you all know how it's going. I still need more time with this thing, but so far so good. We just need more apps.

Discuss "My HP TouchPad Tablet (So Far)" (5 comments so far)


I Want To See This

pearljamYou've seen the teaser.

Now here's the trailer.

And here's your primer.

Discuss "I Want To See This" (6 comments so far)


Open Mike (Long Weekend Edition)

microphoneYes, this site is loading much faster these days. We installed the nginx web server and it's making a huge difference.

And yes, Bev is going on a date later today with another Toronto Mike reader. James and Bev will be writing about their time together so stay tuned.

Use the comments of this entry to discuss that, or anything you want. The hosting is on me...

Discuss "Open Mike (Long Weekend Edition)" (26 comments so far)


Hideki Irabu, Dead at 42

In MemoriumHideki Irabu was 42. He was the New York Yankees pitcher labelled "The Nolan Ryan of Japan" who went 34-35 with a 5.15 ERA in three seasons.


Discuss "Hideki Irabu, Dead at 42" (3 comments so far)


Who the Hell Was Jason Frasor?

jaysThis entry isn't for the die-hard Jays fans. If you still watch them daily, and check the box scores each night, wait for the next entry. That one might be about Bev and her new date tomorrow night...

This entry is for the casual Blue Jays fans, or those who were die-hards during the World Series years, but haven't kept up as life got in the way. To those folks, I have to say something about Jason Frasor.

On July 17, 2011, Jason Frasor made his 453rd appearance for the Blue Jays, passing Duane Ward to become the team's all time appearance leader. That's right, Jason Frasor holds a significant Jays career record, and all that time he flew nicely under the radar. Can you pick Frasor out of a lineup? Did you ever get excited about Jason Frasor, consider buying your nephew a Frasor jersey or attend a game because it was Jason Frasor bobblehead day? Of course not, that's silly. It's only Jason Frasor.

Yesterday, Jason Frasor was traded to the Chicago White Sox with Zach Stewart for Mark Teahen and Edwin Jackson. Jackson was later included in a deal that got us Colby Rasmus, but you already know that.

Over 450 appearances in a Blue Jays uniform and this is the first instance of "frasor" on this blog. Thanks for years of workmanlike, but unremarkable solidity, Jason.

Discuss "Who the Hell Was Jason Frasor?" (6 comments so far)


When in Rome: Of Dirty Heads and Sublime

musicThere's a new Sublime single getting plenty of airplay these days. It's actually Sublime with Rome, since Bradley Nowell missed the 27 Club by thiiiiis much.

Here's Sublime with Rome's Panic.

Previously receiving plenty of airplay was Lay Me Down, a sweet little ditty by Dirty Heads featuring Rome. Here's that one:

I happen to like both tunes, because I'm a bit of an idiot that way, but they sound awfully similar. Sure, it's the same Sublime-esque sound and the same vocalist, but the similiarities don't end there. Parts of the melody are nearly identical.

What do you think? Did Rome rip off Rome?

Discuss "When in Rome: Of Dirty Heads and Sublime" (1 comment so far)


Toronto High

Toronto City HallI don't remember a figure in Toronto politics as divisive as Rob Ford. It seems you either love him or you hate him. Find me someone indifferent to Rob Ford... I dare ya.

Not to paint the Ford brothers with the same brush, but what the hell. I'll do that here. Rob Ford and Doug Ford are running Toronto High, bullying the nerds while yelling "O'Doyle Rules!"

There's the whole Pride Week thing, the KPMG report that confirmed David Miller's assertion that Toronto has a revenue problem, not a spending problem, there's the bike lane kerfuffle, the library vs. Tim Hortons debate, the "who's Margaret Atwood" cries, the finger, the privatization of libraries and a general sense that the Ford Brothers are at war against the nerds, geeks, artists and "leftists" throughout the city.

Here's an email I just received re: Toronto High.

I was planning to leave a comment on one of your posts about Rob Ford, but thought perhaps you can create a new entry instead.

I don't know if anyone else has commented yet, but don't you think Rob Ford is running Toronto like he's the president of a High School council? Ford Nation vs. the so-called 'Leftists' is becoming a Jocks vs. Geeks/Artists/Nerds type of battle that only conjures up bad memories from my highschool days.

I think you should create an entry entitled "Toronto 'High'" and make this comparison. I don't like Rob Ford, didn't vote for him, but am willing to give him a chance if he's willing to be serious about his role as a mayor representing ALL of Toronto, not just the jocks.

btw, love your blog!
~Another mike in Toronto

Then, moments later, there was this one quoting a proud member of Ford Nation.

Check out the comment from this article: http://www.torontosun.com/2011/07/27/stintz-wont-support-library-cuts

"Hey Stintz, you're a BACKSTABBER!  The Fords know how to run a city...the rest of you are a bunch of freeloading refugee leaches. The only people I see going to a library are these damn refugees and they still don't know how to talk properly! Obviously the library books isn't helping them. Cut services that cater to minorities, includes gays/disabled/bicyclists/artists/establishment types. Why should my taxes pay for there freeloading? Majority should rule!

FORD NATION ALL THE WAY!
FORD NATION ALL THE WAY!
FORD NATION ALL THE WAY!
FORD NATION ALL THE WAY!
FORD NATION ALL THE WAY!"

I hope it's fake, but as of right now, it has 3 likes!

You should tweet this out to everyone.  Use social media to lay a beat down on Ford Nation down.

I too didn't vote for Rob Ford, but I'd be willing to give him a chance too if he's act like he takes this gig seriously. This is only Canada's largest and most important city. C'mon Robbie, shape up!

Discuss "Toronto High" (15 comments so far)


Rob Ford's Response to "Finger Flap"

ford

[via Marc Weisblott's Google+]

Discuss "Rob Ford's Response to "Finger Flap"" (13 comments so far)


Bev and Christopher Go On a Date - Read All About It!

heartAbout a month ago, I asked who wanted to date Bev. Bev is looking for a single guy in the GTA and I thought I might be able to set something up via this blog.

Christopher was first to reply that he would date Bev.

I would date Bev. Really. I'm single, over 30, in the GTA (Well, Pickering, but close enough), and NOT a psychopath (no matter what the stuffed animals tell you ;) ).

The question is, would Bev be interested in a guy like me? To be perfectly honest, I don't share a lot of her interests. Mine are more around computers, and movies, and indoor games, and such. But that doesn't mean I am willing to be willing to give it a shot.

On paper, this wasn't a great match. Bev wanted an outdoorsman, Christopher was more of an indoorsman. But, both were willing to meet for coffee and that happened last Friday at 4pm. Here's what Christopher had to say about the experience...

Having never done anything like this before, I was a bit nervous, so I arrived a half an hour early to make sure I wasn't late. I drove to Sherway Gardens from my work in Scarborough, and thankfully there was no traffic to worry about. When I arrived, I ordered a large tea and sat close to the doorway. When Bev arrived, I bought her a latte, then we sat and talked for well over an hour. We discussed several topics, such as the recent hot weather, movies, hobbies, as well as careers before we had to leave.

Meeting Bev was great, and I had a great time doing this. Even though our time was short, she was definitely fun to be with. She is very smart, and very friendly. I want to thank Bev for taking time out of her day, and for a lovely time. I also want to thank Mike for spending the time to organize this.

It sounds like Christopher had a good time. Here's what Bev had to say about the experience...

I met up with Chris last Friday. First, thank you Chris for a great conversation! Nothing's more awkward than a silent hour so great there was none of that. haha. Oh and driving out so far. I think you have great values and have a solid head on your shoulders. Not to mention poker genius! Chris is a great guy but I do not feel chemistry there. Just being honest which I think everyone deserves. I respect you Chris, for what you've been through.

It doesn't sound like a love connection this time, but we tried! Thanks Christopher and Bev for giving it a shot. If anyone else wants a date with Bev, leave a comment below.

Discuss "Bev and Christopher Go On a Date - Read All About It!" (4 comments so far)


A Letter From Within RIM

EmailA regular commenter on this blog happens to work at RIM, so I asked him to jot down some thoughts about today's news that RIM would be laying off 2000 employees.

These words belong to Blackberry Ryan:

It was a bit of a somber day around Waterloo. We got an email in the morning explaining that the layoffs would be done by this week, which was good because the cloud of gloom and doom would be gone, but meant I may not have a job by the end of the week, and perhaps that day.

Most of the people that I saw get let go were dead wood: people who have been there forever and simply are in their job because they have been there forever. While my heart goes out to all the people who got laid off, it seems as though the cuts that were made were fair and needed. I have seen much of the organization and there are many people like this. There were some poor cuts, which I believe are strategic, but this is a normal thing in the tech world. RIM has no turn-over and that can be a bad thing. When you have turn-over, you are able to bring on new talent and fresh ideas...I think after this is done, you'll see some awesome ideas coming out of Waterloo that will truly revolutionize the way you work.

After this week, I'll be happy to get back into the old RIM spirit. I can't wait to launch the new products, they are truly great and move us up with the arms race we have been seeing in North America. Contrary to the media portrayal of RIM and our leaders, I believe in the company and I see great things happening. I believe that the senior leadership knows what is going on and has made some great changes to help us become more competitive in North America.

I always hear in the news that we are losing market share. Well, this may be true in North America, but worldwide (you know, the other 95% of the world), we are growing like crazy! We announced that we added 1 Million subscribers in 3 weeks in Europe, Middle East and Africa. How does a company that is "losing" add that many subscribers in 3 weeks?

I'm gonna leave this like this. My apologies if you owned stock when it fell, but right now would be a great time to buy some RIM stock.

Blackberry Ryan is clearly unfazed by the RIM cuts this week. But is he worried that Toronto Mike is currently testdriving an HP TouchPad?

Discuss "A Letter From Within RIM" (4 comments so far)


It's Not The Heat, It's The Stupidity

sunAn Associated Press article got my attention with the headline "Northeast braces for temps near boiling point".

stupidity

That's pretty scary stuff. The boiling point, of course, would be 100°C or 212°F. What exactly are these temps near 100°C or 212°F?

Boston's 99 degrees on Friday could feel like 105 degrees; Philadelphia's 102 degrees like 114 degrees and Washington, D.C.'s 103 degrees may seem the same as a melting 116 degrees.

Really, Associated Press? Aren't you still trying to pass as a legitimate news service? Has it come to this?

It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.

Discuss "It's Not The Heat, It's The Stupidity" (5 comments so far)


Fred Patterson Update, My HP TouchPad and Load Times

radioAs we discussed during this weekend's Open Mike, Freddie P is out as Program Director for the Corus cluster of stations in Peterborough. Here's an update from the man himself.

I will also think about the next step, and besides talking to a couple of people who have reached out already, I will huddle with a former humble partner and map strategy on an exciting project.

If you're keeping score at home, both Humble and Fred are currently unemployed, causing many to speculate as to what's next for the duo I awoke to throughout the 90s. I promise to post everything fit for public consumption right here.

In other news, I dropped by HP Canada headquarters this morning to pick up my new TouchPad. I'm going to try and break this sucker, and I'll share my experience here. So far, it looks pretty slick.

just got a touchpad from hp to break - this will be fun

And finally, in this 3-for-1 update, many of you have experienced longer-than-usual load times for this site. I'm having a little trouble duplicating the delay, but I've heard from enough of you that I'm confident there's an issue. If you're feeling the delay, comments with lots of detail will help me resolve the issue.

That's all for now. Happy Monday, y'all.

Discuss "Fred Patterson Update, My HP TouchPad and Load Times" (8 comments so far)


Amy Winehouse, Dead at 27

In MemoriumAmy Winehouse was 27. She was a singer-songwriter, known for her powerful contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of various musical genres including R&B, soul, and jazz.

You likely knew her big hit "Rehab" from her second studio album, Back to Black.

This one really ticks me off. Not just because a talented person passed away at the young age of 27 (why is it always 27?), but because it was all too obvious yet couldn't be prevented.

We discussed Amy Winehouse's predictable premature demise back in 2008.

Amy Winehouse needs help. I realize this isn't breaking news, but as a civilized society can we just watch her self destruct in plain sight and treat it as tabloid fodder?

Let's help the poor girl. She needs it, whether she knows it or not.

Not surprising, but tragic nonetheless. A damn, damn shame.

Discuss "Amy Winehouse, Dead at 27" (21 comments so far)


Elwy Yost, Dead at 86

In MemoriumElwy Yost was 86. He was the long-time host of Saturday Night at the Movies and Magic Shadows on TVOntario.

As a very young boy I remember watching Elwy on TVOntario as he introduced classic films I was far too young to appreciate. I fondly recalled Elwy in this space back in 2007 and again in 2008. Then, I decided I could be Elwy Yost.

The man's enthusiasm for movies was contagious. Thanks, Elwy.

Discuss "Elwy Yost, Dead at 86" (3 comments so far)


Open Mike (Hot Friday Edition)

microphoneIt's not only another hot Friday, but it's the day Bev goes on a date with a Toronto Mike reader. We'll hear all about that soon, but now it's time to get things off your chest...

Use the comments of this entry to discuss that, or anything you want. The hosting is on me...

Discuss "Open Mike (Hot Friday Edition)" (31 comments so far)


That Wasn't Heat, This Is Heat

sunRemember the other day when we all talked about the heat? As usual, we were ahead of the curve.

Today is the real heat. Feels like 46°C. Holy shit!

hot

I'm sure you kids are smart enough to stay indoors with the A/C. I've got a double header to play. Another one tomorrow, too. Heat, schmeat.

How are you surviving the day?

Discuss "That Wasn't Heat, This Is Heat" (10 comments so far)


Ernie Whitt's Comeback Kiboshed

Blue JaysI considered titling this entry "We Want Whitt", for my brother Ryan. In the 80s, when the Jays played their home games and Exhibition Stadium, that ugly orange scoreboard would get the crowd chanting "We want a hit! We want a hit!".

Ryan, a huge Ernie Whitt fan, was sure they were chanting "We want Whitt! We want Whitt!". The premise is faulty, unless Whitt wasn't starting and the crowd was looking for him to pinch hit, but Whitt almost always started. He was our original #12.

Ernie Whitt's #12 will be retired by the Blue Jays on July 31. It's being retired to honour Roberto Alomar, and everyone thinks it's a good idea. Everyone except my brother Ryan.

The retirement of #12 ensures Ernie Whitt can never come back wearing his number. That's it. We can finally close the book on Ernie Whitt's great career.

Ernie Whitt

Congrats, Robbie... but we want Whitt!

Discuss "Ernie Whitt's Comeback Kiboshed" (11 comments so far)


Let's Talk About the Heat

toronto heatwaveIt's hot. Let's talk about it.

hell2

But no complaining!

hot

Discuss "Let's Talk About the Heat" (14 comments so far)


i, robot

so i'm a big fan of the basic storyline of spielberg's Artificial Intelligence. the movie has some flaws but i loved the premise.

but here's a question. what's your take on the creatures who show up near the end of the movie? i debated this quite a bit with a friend of mine and he was convinced they were aliens, whereas my belief is that they were in fact an even more advanced form of A.I, or said another way - what humans are going to evolve into over the next thousand years or so.

in reality, i personally believe that's pretty much where we're headed. from an evolutionary perspective, our days are numbered - at least in terms of how we exist today.

there's a scientist/ inventor/ futurist/ named Ray Kurzweil who paints a fascinating picture of how this is all going to go down. he even predicts that the fusion of humans/machines will begin as early as 2029, due mainly to how technology speeds up exponentially year after year.

there's an excellent documentary about Kurzweil and his theories called transcendant man that you should check out.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1117394/

he knows his shit. he predicted the effing internet long before the effing internet existed as we know it today.

what do you think?

Discuss "i, robot" (2 comments so far)


Cosmos: A Personal Voyage

tvCosmos: A Personal Voyage is a thirteen-part television series written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steven Soter, with Sagan as presenter.

It was first broadcast in 1980 on PBS, but I've never seen it. It's time to correct that oversight.

To make it easier, here are all 13 episodes.

Episode 1: "The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean"

Episode 2: "One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue"

Episode 3: "The Harmony of the Worlds"

Episode 4: "Heaven and Hell"

Episode 5: "Blues for a Red Planet"

Episode 6: "Travellers' Tales"

Embedding disabled - watch it here

Episode 7: "The Backbone of Night"

Embedding disabled - watch it here

Episode 8: "Journeys in Space and Time"

Episode 9: "The Lives of the Stars"

Episode 10: "The Edge of Forever"

Episode 11: "The Persistence of Memory"

Episode 12: "Encyclopaedia Galactica"

Episode 13: "Who Speaks for Earth?"

See you in 780 minutes.

Discuss "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage" (2 comments so far)


AM640 Stuff (Of Watters, Stafford, Bynon & Leafs)

radioI read on TSM that the Bill Watters show on AM640 has been shelved and Arlene Bynon will now host the 4pm drive home slot.

I've listened to Arlene Bynon a few times, but never again. She's boring. AM640 has missed an opportunity here to right a wrong by returning Mike Stafford to 4pm. Mike Stafford, IMHO, is the best talk radio host working in Toronto today.

And AM640, while I'm calling you out, not everything is Leafs news. My appetite for Leafs news is as big as anybody's, but this is stretching it.

cfl

Go Leafs go!

Discuss "AM640 Stuff (Of Watters, Stafford, Bynon & Leafs)" (29 comments so far)


Cyberbully: New Rule re: Sia's Breathe Me

musicNew rule, television! Listen up, because I'm only going to say this once.

Sia's "Breathe Me" was used brilliantly for the final scene of Six Feet Under. I can't hear that awesome song without thinking about the Fishers.

Here's that amazing scene:

And here's the dramatic conclusion of ABC's tv movie Cyberbully. Or is it Cyberbu//y? Does it matter... this is awful!

Television, let's stop using Sia's Breathe Me for crap like this. Thanks.

Discuss "Cyberbully: New Rule re: Sia's Breathe Me" (1 comment so far)


Do You Pee in the Shower?

shower peeDo you pee in the shower?

Society seems to frown at the action, but it's all pipes!

In Brazil, they actually aired a PSA encouraging people to pee in the shower.

Now fess up... do you pee in the shower?

Discuss "Do You Pee in the Shower?" (5 comments so far)


Happy Birthday...

...to me.

I really enjoy my birthday. Once, every 365 days, it's my day. I get to have a beer, remember all the great times I've had in my life and look forward to another great 364 days until I do it all again.

Some say I'm too old to get excited about my birthday. I say that if we lived our lives with the enthusiasm of our youth on our birthday, the world would be a much better place.

Smile, kick up your feet, and celebrate my birthday today. And yours too.

Discuss "Happy Birthday..." (9 comments so far)


Where's Zanta?

zantaI'm not sure I miss the guy, in fact I'm fairly certain I don't, but I'm still curious...

Where's Zanta these days?

I haven't seen the guy or read anything about him in at least a year.

Here's the doc about Zanta from Pietro Gagliano.

Here's a Valentine's Day card I cooked up in 2008.

Zanta

Is Zanta fulfilling his life-long dream of opening an ESL Ontario school? If you know where Zanta is these days and how he's doing, please update us here.

Discuss "Where's Zanta?" (6 comments so far)


Mike's Only, Please

Mike's OnlyThis entry is for Mikes only. If your name isn't Mike, Michael or Mikey, please advance to the next entry.

If your name is Mike, Michael or Mikey, please leave a comment below. Only Mikes may comment on this entry. Thanks.

mike-tyson-punch-out

Discuss "Mike's Only, Please" (8 comments so far)


Phone Karma

Our friend, Toronto Mike, was infamous for carrying around a brick of a phone. His Blackberry was once one of the original pager models RIM produced back in 1999 but it worked for him. He then graduated to the ‘newer’ model that was heavy enough to use as a substitute for the bag of sand you keep in your truck to keep your car from fish-tailing in the snow. For that, and more, we loved to make fun. I mean, really, the guy knows his way around Al Gore’s ‘Net better than 98% of us yet using antiquated technology was no big deal.

It provided me with hours of material.

Karma sucks.

First, the ball on *my* Blackberry fell out. -1

Then, I borrowed my wife's old Blackberry from our trunk and threw out my back carrying it around. -2

I got a new one issued from my new employer. I was happy with my free phone for six months and then I decided to quit that job so back to my wife's old Blackberry. -3

I was back to carrying the equivalent of George Costanza's wallet. Adding insult to injury, the speaker and antennae were broken so I couldn't actually receive a call or connect to a data source unless it was wifi. 3G? I couldn't even get 1G. -4

I’m now onto a new borrowed BB until September. At least this one works. -4.5

I don’t own a phone for you to make fun Mike…you’ve won again, dammit. -100

So what do I do next? Should I buy the Blackberry 9900 or the iPhone 4s or 5 or whatever they call it?

Discuss "Phone Karma" (18 comments so far)


My Thoughts on Google+

googleThe last time I dove into a new Google universe, it was Google Wave, and I was left bewildered and certain it would fail. I've been playing in the Google+ sandbox for a week now, so it's time to share my thoughts.

The Interface is Awesome
That was my initial thought... this thing is fun to use. Updates are instant, it's damn easy to put people in circles or share with certain circles. It's clean, pretty, in fact, and you can quote me on this, Google+ is to Facebook what Facebook was to MySpace.

After a While, It Actually Makes Sense
At first, I found Google+ a little confusing. It seemed to be missing some standard Facebook-esque qualities. For example, I didn't know how to share something with just one person without creating a circle just for that one person. That was dumb, but thankfully, I was wrong. It's easy to share with one person by simply starting with @Person's Name.

googleplus

The whole circle concept is genius. It's Facebook without all the privacy and security issues. You could have one circle called "best buds", another called "family", another called "colleagues". I actually have one called "blog readers" for all the folks I've shared invitations with via this blog.

Google+ makes sense as a way to share anything with everyone, or slo-pitch line-ups with your ball team. And reading your stream will make a great deal more sense once you can exclude certain circles. Like I said, the entire circle concept is gold.

Google+ Is Only Missing One Thing
This is the big one we've been waiting for. It's Facebook meets Twitter and it's fun to use, but it's missing something. It's missing you.

wv30D

So please, give it a shot. Do it for yourself, for social networking, for me.

By the way, I have plenty of invites if you'd like to get in there and play around. Simply leave a comment on this entry and I'll set you up asap.

Discuss "My Thoughts on Google+" (5 comments so far)


Billie From Mad Dog and Billie Fired From Virgin Radio

radioSpeaking of Toronto morning radio hosts getting fired from Astral-owned stations, my buddy Marc tells me Billie from Mad Dog and Billie has been fired from Virgin Radio.

According to a source, Billie - whose real name is Amanda Dunn - was canned from the station today after five years. She and Mad Dog (whose real name is Jay Doudelet) previously worked together for three years on 98.1 CHFI following a stint at KISS 92.5.

Dunn's termination comes on the heels of the end of her marriage to Peter Luciano, a business lawyer with Toronto firm McCarthy Tetrault and former member of Canadian boy band VIP. The couple are parents to a two-year-old daughter.

It's a strange coincidence that we learn about Billie's dismissal today. Back in 2006, it was Mad Dog and Billie who replaced Humble Howard when he was canned from Mix 999. Earlier today, Humble Howard broke his silence and wrote about being fired a second time, this time from Boom 97.3.

Billie won't likely be resurfacing at Boom, as Stu Jeffries has that morning gig. Yes, the very same Stu Jeffries who was canned from his gig with Colleen Rusholme at EZ Rock and replaced by... Humble Howard.

See how Toronto radio works?

Discuss "Billie From Mad Dog and Billie Fired From Virgin Radio" (81 comments so far)


AWOLNATION

musicHave you guys heard that new song by AWOLNATION called Sail?

It's got a cool sound to it. Here it is:

<sarcasm>

I wish our local new rock station would pick up this single and play it. I never hear it!

</sarcasm>

Discuss "AWOLNATION" (6 comments so far)


i'm full

i've decided that it's ok if i never have a shot ever again.

i'm talking about a dirty shot of booze. that's right. a jaegger-bomb, or a tequila, or a black sambuca.

not long ago a bachelor party was thrown for me (even though i didn't want one, but that's another post). every five minutes it seemed there was a new glass of nastiness in my hand, and although i certainly could have turned them down, i consumed them all. after all, you're not a real man if you turn down a shot right? anyway, i think i had 8 -10 of these vile things.

no big surprise here, but the next day i was a complete wreck. it started off with the usual grogginess and disorientation, lead to severe grumpiness and dizziness, and concluded with nausea and a consistent need to be horizontal. i also felt very hot all the time and absolutely nothing could make me feel better. again, no surprise here because i had essentially poisoned my entire system....and my system was entirely pissed off.

and this wasn't the first time of course. over the years, i'm sure there have been hundreds of shots consumed (thousands?), and with the same result usually. so, seeing as the party was a send off to my bachelor-hood, i am happy to officially proclaim an end of the need to consume dirty shots.

drinking them in a high-octane party setting seems to be a rite of passage, an experience one goes through to take the game up a notch. but since i've been at this game for a while, i truly think i've had my fill.

and i know what you might be thinking. but, it's not that i'm getting old - the next day's results are.

Discuss "i'm full" (1 comment so far)


What The Hell Are You Doing to the Blog, Mike?

question markMy brothers think my blog sucks now. I don't know if I agree with them, but it has been over nine years of following the exact same format. That's 10786 entries I've thrown down, and the risk is a long, sad fade...

its-better-to-burn-out

Rust never sleeps, so it's time to shake things up a bit. You've likely already noticed the first change. After 10786 entries authored by yours truly, I've shared logins with five others.

You've already seen entries from three of the five. Funny commenter Ryan G (who I've never met) posted an essay on the weirdness of it all, the infamous Bev wrote about her trip to Jamaica, and Humble Howard contributed a very interesting article about how he's dealing with being fired from his morning gig on Boom 97.3.

I mentioned five others have writing permissions on this blog right now. I'm going to wait for the last two to post something so it will be a surprise. Is it Argie? Is it OJ Boy? Is it Dan Duran?

davegif

Having new authors has created one little wrinkle with my Twitter account. New blog entries automatically update the RSS feed (as they should) and the RSS feed automatically generates a new Tweet from my @torontomike account. That likely spooked a few friends and family members when they saw this:

twit

If you're wondering, I'm going to continue to do my thing, there'll just be a few additional authors over here. I've edited the HTML so it clearly tells you who the author of each entry is, so you'll know whose words you're reading.

And I may add more authors, so let me know if you'd like your own login. After all, I'm shaking things up over here. I have 10786 reasons to try something new.

future

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Getting Fired....again.

A few thoughts on getting fired.
Getting fired has made me fat. And lazy. I'm just barely able to bother writing a few line for Mikey Mike's little blog.
I miss being funny every day. Getting fired has made me think less and worry more but I'm out of the practice of making fun of shit on a regular basis.
I don't talk as much. Maybe that's a good thing.
Getting fired is good in that I am spending a great Summer hanging out more with my kids but I'm also counting down the days till the Fall when I really should be doing something for a living.
I'm sure that I will never work again.
I'm sure that I will.
Then I'm not sure some more.
Getting fired has put me in touch with some remarkable and interesting people. It has also put me in touch with some people I'd never have anything to do with if I still had a job and didn't need to suck up to them for some video thing.
I am not working on the Radio but I do work quite a bit for someone with no regular gig. I shoot corporate videos and I'm working on some TV production stuff but I'm not doing what I'm meant to and that always leaves us fired-folk out of sorts.
I miss my friends in the biz but I don't miss some of the people who run the biz. Some of them are mean and they fired me.
The strange quirk of Radio is that the people who know the most about resonating with an audience are on the air and being managed, for the most part, by people who sucked at it and therefore became "managers." They wanted to perform but couldn't so they get to tell the people who can how to do it. This is why Radio is no longer very much fun to listen to.
I will be back on the air again. But that air maybe different.
Getting fired has reminded me that I'd much rather be Not-FIred even though sleeping in past 4am is pretty sweet. Maybe I could figure out a way for you to hear me again without having to get up in the middle of the night.
Maybe I already have.
Maybe It's just wishful thinking.
Getting fired gives you a lot of time for that.

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Back from Jamaica (It's Bev!)

Had a good break from the city driving the entire north coast of Jamaica. Beautiful country but after 16 times of going there, going to Asia would be nice for a change. Or another island. Or how about a cruise? Would that be better than staying in one country?

Anyways, I am grateful for being in Canada for now seeing the effects of this recession out there in JA. Suicidal rates are up, a few tourist spots abandoned, people panicking on how to survive. Sad sad.

Discuss "Back from Jamaica (It's Bev!)" (5 comments so far)


Sherwood Schwartz, Dead at 95

In MemoriumSherwood Schwartz was 95. He was the creator of such iconic shows as The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island, not to mention the ninth owner in the history of the Toronto Argonauts.

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Rob Ford's So Ridiculous, Even His Allies Think He's Nuts

city hallIt's shit like this, Rob Ford.

Mayor Rob Ford opposed every one of Toronto’s community grants programs at a council meeting Tuesday.

The city's grants allocations for 2011 were about to sail through council without a discussion or vote when Ford rose to say he wanted to be recorded as opposing all of the grants programs. Council then voted on them individually.

Ford lost 43-1 in votes on four of the programs: Access, Equity and Human Rights, which provides money to groups working on issues related to “race relations, gender equity, literacy, disability, sexual orientation, and Aboriginal affairs”; Community Safety, for groups that work to prevent violence in priority neighbourhoods; Community Recreation, for groups “providing activities that address gaps in available services provided by city recreation services”; and Community Festivals and Special Events.

His brother, Councillor Doug Ford, joined him in opposing Community Service Partnership grants, for groups working to improve access to services “that improve social outcomes for vulnerable, marginalized and high-risk communities.” They lost 42-2.

Rob Ford did not explain his opposition to the programs during the meeting. He has not yet spoken to reporters.

To recap, Ford declares he's not going to support any of the grants programs, refuses to say why, and gets destroyed in the subsequent votes. 43-1 until his bro steps in on one to make it 42-2.

Even Rob Ford's allies on council wouldn't vote with him. Vulnerable, marginalized and high-risk communities be damned! Ridiculous.

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Google+ Invites For All!

XXXGoogle's track record with me was stellar until Google Wave. That one was crushed by its complexity. I'd play in the Wave sandbox for hours and leave it more confused than when I got there.

Google+ is Google's social-networking response to Facebook and Twitter. The interface is pretty awesome, and the promise is... well... it's promising. With Google+ invites flying around cyberspace at warp speed, I suspect my circles will be busting by this time next week.

That's the thing about new social network sites... they don't fly until the masses adopt. It's the proverbial tree falling in a forest. It's a lame party until your buddies show up.

FM4tN

In an attempt to populate the Google+ universe by my lonesome, I've got invites to give away. Who wants one? Just leave a comment asking for an invite and I'll send one your way.

Discuss "Google+ Invites For All!" (101 comments so far)


this is weird.

so it's like this. Mike has given me the honour of guest blogging here and there, and although it sounds like good fun, i feel a little weird about it.

to me, it's sort of like i've been invited over to a barbecue at Mike's house through a friend, but i've never met Mike. Mike's hospitable and tells me to feel at home, but you know, i'm just meeting the guy for the first time. it's not like i'm gonna walk around the barbecue in my underwear, because frankly i'd really feel at home then.

Mike also tells me to help myself to a beer in the fridge, which for me is a bit odd too. going into the fridge of a person you just met is a little bit like feeling up a person on the subway. it might be rewarding (beer) but it seems wrong (sexual assault). but, eventually i do proceed to the kitchen to grab a beer. when i open the fridge, i notice that Mike has one of my favourite things in the whole wide world inside. it's those extra spicy beef sausage sticks.

boy do i love those tasty meat sticks.

there's a whole giant pack of them too. and hey, Mike told me to feel at home, so what harm does it do if i grabbed one? so i take a beer and a giant bite of my newly acquired meat prize, shut the door of the fridge, and turn just in time to see Mike walking into the kitchen.

now let's face it. although Mike has told me to feel at home, i don't think he really meant for me to root through the various compartments of his refrigerator to see if i could throw a snack together. i sheepishly look at Mike and stop chewing in an attempt to camouflage my poaching, but it's too late. we both know i've crossed some line of intimacy that i simply haven't earned yet. what's next? i show up unannounced at his house christmas morning just as his kids are opening presents?

so Mike, and all of you, thank you for letting me into your home. i'm flattered by your invitation but don't be surprised if, once in a while, there's a bit of fumbling awkwardness here and there.

cheers,
Ryan G

PS - proving my point, i nearly forgot to ultimately pose the question to all of you.

got any awkward real-life stories? if so, share some here.

Discuss "this is weird." (8 comments so far)


More About Bev

notepadI get more email about my Who Wants to Date Bev? entry than just about anything else I've written the past six months. Most of the email is negative, but some is positive. That Bev entry seems to have really struck a nerve.

I'm not sure what the big deal is. I'm not pimping her out, I'm just using my GTA reach to see if there's a potential mate for her out there. Christopher and Hector's friend maybe very well be going for coffee with Bev, and we're going to read about it here. It should be fun.

bev

I'm actually thinking of letting Bev blog here occasionally, sort of as a guest blogger. Let me know if you're interested in a similar set-up... I'm looking right at you Ryan G.

Oh... and you can stop the hate mail. If the Bev entry offended you, I give you permission to stop reading this blog.

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600 Point Super Mario Bros. Finish

nintendoI've finished Super Mario Bros. many, many times, but I always tried to score as many points as possible.

I was doing it wrong. This guy managed to finish Super Mario Bros. with only 600 points, and no deaths.

Now that's impressive.

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Edith Bunker's Rape Laugh Track

tvI missed All in the Family, being only four years old when it went off the air, but I'm certain I would have liked it. The episodes I've seen in syndication seem more daring and smarter than the sitcoms we have today.

The episodes around Edith Bunker's 50th birthday surprise and "the rape" have permeated popular culture to a point where I felt I'd seen them, only I hadn't. I hadn't seen this episode until this morning, so I didn't realize how uncomfortable it must have been to watch.

It's uncomfortable because the subject matter is so serious, yet there are still jokes and laughter from the live studio audience. Here's the clip (skip to 10:31), if you don't mind that uneasy, uncomfy feeling.

Wasn't that bizarre? Did anyone see this episode during it's initial run? How was it received then?

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Betty Ford, Dead at 92

In MemoriumBetty Ford was 92. She was the widow of late US President Gerald Ford and a co-founder of an eponymous addiction center in California.

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Alan Cross Fired from Edge 102

radioThis one comes as no surprise. Alan Cross is no longer employed by Corus Radio. Alan Cross is best known for his long-running weekly rock documentary series The Ongoing History of New Music on 102.1 The Edge.

Alan Cross was there a very long time, starting at CFNY in 1986. It's highly likely he'll continue to create content for Corus, although in a freelance capacity.

Back when Alan Cross was program directory at 102.1, we exchanged several emails that I posted here. Edge 102 avoided Eminem like the plague, and then suddenly played him ad nausea. Here's what Alan Cross said about that. Then, there's that time Good Charlotte headlined Edgefest. That was fun.

Alan's last day was June 30. It's the end of an era, folks, but it's no surprise. Maybe he should apply for this gig.

Fun fact: Alan Cross is married to former CFNY news gal Mary Ellen Beninger!

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Dick Williams, Dead at 82

In MemoriumDick Williams was 82. He led the Oakland A’s to two of their three 1970s World Series championships and led the 1967 Red Sox and 1984 Padres to pennants.

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Top 20 Websites in Canada (Do You Visit These?)

mouseAccording to Alexa, here are the 20 most visited websites in Canada. Beside the site, I'll tell you whether I visit regularly, occasionally, rarely or never.

  1. Google.ca - Visit Regularly
  2. Facebook - Visit Regularly
  3. Google.com - Visit Regularly
  4. YouTube - Visit Regularly
  5. Yahoo! - Visit Regularly
  6. Windows Live - Never Visit
  7. Wikipedia - Visit Regularly
  8. Blogger.com - Visit Rarely
  9. Twitter - Visit Regularly
  10. MSN - Never Visit
  11. Kijiji - Visit Rarely
  12. LinkedIn - Visit Regularly
  13. MSN Canada - Never Visit
  14. Government of Canada - Visit Occasionally
  15. Amazon.com - Visit Rarely
  16. WordPress.com - Visit Rarely
  17. Craigslist.ca - Visit Rarely
  18. PayPal - Visit Occasionally
  19. Bing - Never Visit
  20. The Weather Network - Visit Occasionally

If you're keeping score at home, that's 9 that I visit regularly. How about you?

Discuss "Top 20 Websites in Canada (Do You Visit These?)" (14 comments so far)


Facebook Has a Lousy Memory

facebookI'm not a big Facebook user. As I write this, I have 47 friends on Facebook. I'm willing to bet you have at least three times as many.

Although I don't update my Facebook status or post pictures there, I do pop in once a day to view my news feed. Every single time I visit, the news feed is sorted by "Top News". Every single time I visit, I change this to "Most Recent".

facebook

C'mon Facebook, remember our preferences!

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Your Blog Sucks Now

thumbsdownOn Friday afternoon, at Downsview Park between Hey Rosetta's set and Broken Social Scene's, my brother Steve made the following declaration.

Your blog sucks now.

A perfect storm has dramatically reduced my blogging time in 2011. I won't delve into the details, but it's clearly affected the quantity of entries. From where I sit, I don't think the quality has suffered as much, but I'd like to ask a question to those of you who are still dropping by...

Does this blog suck now?

Discuss "Your Blog Sucks Now" (32 comments so far)


George Fucking Brett

george brettJoin me in my time machine, friends. We're going back to 1985...

In 1985, I listened to or watched every inning of every Jays game. We clinched our very first AL East pennant that year, and faced the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS. Here's a relic from my scrapbook following our game 1 victory over the Royals.

Off And Flying

We went up 2 games to 0 and seemed destined to face the Cardinals in the World Series. I believed we'd sweep the Royals, we were that much better, but cue George Fucking Brett.

Aw heck, Joe Posnanski does a much better job of telling this story. Jays fans, if you can stomach it, here's how George Fucking Brett single-handedly brought the Royals back from the brink.

Mark Whiten once hit four homers and drove in 12 runs in a game. Reggie Jackson hit three homers in a World Series game, and Babe Ruth did it twice. Hideki Matsui once got five hits, scored five runs and drove in five in an ALCS game against Boston. And so on.

But for single-handed domination, I’ll take George Brett in 1985. You might know the circumstances. The Royals trailed Toronto two games to none in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series. But that does not begin to describe the moment. The Royals seemed destined for always being almost good enough. In 1976, ’77 and ’78 they had lost to the Yankees in the ALCS. Brett himself had been a monster in those series. He hit .375 combined in the three series, slugged .768. He hit three homers in a game against Catfish Hunter — a game the Royals lost, which probably sums things up well.

The Royals finally beat the Yankees in 1980 — Brett providing the titanic blow against Goose Gossage in the clincher — and then lost to the Phillies in six. That was the World Series where Brett battled hemorrhoids, but he still hit .375 and slugged .679. Anyway, that World Series kind of ended things for the Royals. They did make the playoffs in 1981 and 1984, but they were not the same team, they were swept in both, Brett hit lousy, the window seemed to be closed. The 1985 Royals were a terrible offensive team. They finished 13th in the league in runs scored, and the only thing that kept them from finishing dead last in runs scored was a 99-loss Texas team that often batted an 859-year old Cliff Johnson cleanup*.

*Actually Johnson was only 37; he just seemed 859.

That Royals team had no business making the playoffs in 1985 — they were 42-42 after 84 games and they seemed to be overachieving at that. But they had a couple of things going for them. One, of course, they had George Brett, who put up one of his most amazing seasons (.335/.436/.585 — led the league in slugging) despite being intentionally walked 31 times, the most in the league since Ted Williams almost 20 years earlier.

Two, they had pitching. Bret Saberhagen at 21 won the Cy Young Award. Charlie Liebrandt at 28 was almost as good. Danny Jackson at 23 and Mark Gubicza at 22 has pretty strong years. Dan Quisenberry had his last great year in the pen. Now, that pitching — good as it is — should not have been enough to get the Royals into the playoffs. But the division was weak, Brett hit about .400 for June, July and August, and the Royals snuck into the playoffs with 91 wins.

Point is: There might have been a sense — there SHOULD have been a sense — that the Royals were not going to get this chance again. I mean, nobody knew that they would not make the playoffs for 25-plus years and that they would become the worst team in baseball and so on. But the core was creaking. Time was passing. Brett, who always had a heightened awareness of the moment, turned to his teammates before Game 3 of the Toronto series and said: “Climb on my back.”

First inning, Brett came up with Willie Wilson on base. Then, Wilson wasn’t — he was caught stealing. Brett homered anyway. That made it 1-0.

Third inning, Brett made perhaps the best defensive play of his life. Damaso Garcia on third, one out, Brett fielded Lloyd Moseby’s ground ball, found an angle, and threw Garcia out at the plate. That kept it 1-0.

Fourth inning, Brett led off. He crushed a ball off the top of the wall, inches away from his second home run. He tagged up and went to third on Hal McRae’s fly ball. He tagged up and scored on Frank White’s fly ball. That’s how it was for the Royals in 1985 — Brett scored runs on outs. That made it 2-0.

The Blue Jays had enough of that small-ball garbage in the fifth. Ernie Whitt singled. Jesse Barfield homered. Damaso Garcia doubled. Lloyd Moseby singled. Rance Mulliniks homered. That’s five runs, thank you very much, have a nice day, be sure to tip the wait staff.

The Royals did get a run in the bottom of the inning — on a rare Jim Sundberg homer, no less. That still made it 5-3, and two runs for those Royals was like Mt. Fuji.

Then, sixth inning, Brett came up with Wilson on first. This time Wilson stayed at first. And Brett homered. That made it 5-5.

Eighth inning, Brett led off with a single. He went to second on a bunt. He went to third on a ground ball to short … a fairly daring and risky baserunning maneuver. He scored on Steve Balboni’s single. And that was the game-winner. Brett also caught the final out, a foul pop by Moseby.

All in all: Brett went four-for-four, two homers, four runs, three RBIs, great baserunning and a breathtaking defensive play, all after PROMISING he would do it. The Royals would still need plenty of heroics, a bit of luck, a pretty famous umpire mistake and a Cardinals meltdown to win the only World Series in team history. But were it not for Brett’s “climb on my back” game, none of it would have happened.

I didn't say it would be an easy read, did I? Let's pretend it all ended on October 5, 1985.

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Rob Ford Has No Pride

city hallI gave Rob Ford the benefit of the doubt all week. Surely he'd come to his senses, follow the avalanche of good advice he received from Toronto mayors past, and march in today's Pride Parade. He didn't.

Mayor Rob Ford successfully boycotted Pride Week, avoiding all 10 days of events. He even blew off a Pride Toronto flag-raising at Nathan Philips Square so that he could meet Leafs GM Brian Burke, a man who marched in the Pride Parade last year and today in support of his late son. Now that took balls.

This is the first time the city’s mayor has missed Pride since Barbara Hall started the tradition during her term in office. Refusing to give Pride Week even 10 minutes of his time, Rob Ford went to to great lengths to ensure this proud tradition ended. Instead of sending a powerful message that homophobia is not tolerated in our city, Rob Ford gave homophobes throughout the city a poster boy for their hateful cause.

Rob Ford has no pride. What an embarrassment to this great city.

now-magazine-rob-ford-cover

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Cody Franson and Matthew Lombardi Traded for Brett Lebda and Robert Slaney

leafsSomebody pinch me. Did we just trade Brett Lebda? Really?

And we got Cody Franson back? Really? Is this real life?

The Toronto Maple Leafs have indeed acquired defenceman Cody Franson and centre Matthew Lombardi from the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenceman Brett Lebda and forward Robert Slaney.

The deal also includes a fourth-round pick - Nashville will acquire our 2013 fourth-rounder if Lombardi plays 60 or more regular-season games over the course of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, while we will acquire Nashville's 2013 fourth-rounder if Lombardi does not play 60 games during the next two campaigns.

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that fellow Leaf fans will love this deal. Looks like a steal from where I'm sitting.

franson-620-thumb-620xauto-92963

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Tragically Hip on Canada Day Review #ohcanada!

Tragically Hip at the ACCI did a double take when I realized I had last seen The Tragically Hip live in concert back in February 2007. That was my 10th time seeing Das Hip, and last night was #11.

The weather was perfect... warm and breezy, and the opening bands were stellar. Hey Rosetta! lived up to the hype, Broken Social Scene was their typical solid self and Weezer threatened to steal the show. But on Canada Day, the Hip won't be beat.

I've added the setlist to my personal Tragically Hip page, and I've updated my setlist statistics. We got "At The Hundredth Meridian" again, making it the only song I've seen live 11 times.

It was a great day of tunes, followed by a sweet firework display. Happy birthday, Canada.

Weezer

Das Hip!

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Tim Connolly Signs with Leafs

leafsThe Toronto Maple Leafs have signed free agent centre Tim Connolly, formerly of the Buffalo Sabres, to a two-year deal that will average $4.75 million per season.

The Rangers landed Brad Richards while we scored Tim Connolly. I think Connolly has offensive flair, and I did like him enough to draft him in my playoff pool (thanks for the 2 points, Tim!), but if he's our first line centre, I think we're in big trouble.

When the Kessel / Connolly line is our 2nd line, I'll feel better.

Picture 4

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Cirque du Soleil Tickets Go To...

ticketstubsThank you to everybody who entered my Cirque du Soleil ticket giveaway. Even if you didn't win, you can save 15% on tickets to TOTEM via this link.

Using the random integer generator, I asked for a number between 1 and 78. It spit out #73.

random

That makes Christy the big winner. Christy found this blog while Googling for wedding songs. Christy, I'll be emailing you your tickets to the August 11 show.

I just Googled 'wedding songs' myself and found I'm still on the first page. Cool.

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