March 2012 Archives

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Along Came Joe - The CHUM-FM Cheerleaders

jaysThe Blue Jays are enjoying their best Spring Training in team history. We're 22-5, and although that won't mean anything when the season starts next Monday, it sure beats losing.

The last time the Jays were the best, Joe Carter was ending the season with a walk-off 3-run blast to left field. That moment ruined my childhood, because it was so unbelievably awesome.

Here's a great old Jays song about the arrival of Joe (and Robbie and Devo) and how it changed everything.

And if you needed more incentive to get excited about this season, here's the SportsNet promo.

Other awesome Blue Jays audio from Toronto Mike:

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Open Mike (Non-Hockey Edition)

Open Mike (Non-Hockey Edition)As March roars to a close and April beckons, let's talk about.... anything, so long as it's not hockey related. Hockey comments can go here.

sleeping

You may, however, discuss the Blue Jays... or the budget... or the weather. Go nuts.

Discuss "Open Mike (Non-Hockey Edition)" (49 comments so far)


Finding a New Bottom in Leafsville

LeafsI had stopped watching Leaf games. Prior to tonight, the last game I watched was the game I took my son to a couple of weeks ago. Total and complete apathy had set in... the 2011-12 Leafs were dead to me.

Then, Ford Canada invited me to their luxury suite and 3rd row seats at the ACC to watch the Leafs vs. Flyers. Suddenly, I'm not only watching the Leafs again, but I'm at ice level, unable to turn the channel.

2012-03-29 21.16.40.jpg

Ladies and gentlemen, it's far worse than I had imagined. It seems we've found a new bottom, if that's possible. Jussi Rynnas got no support in his first career start, the Leafs only managed to get 17 shots on net and the fans only showed passion when chanting "Let's Go Blue Jays", which also happened to be the highlight of the night, or when booing the home team, which began early in the first period.

Mr. Rynnas, you're ready for your closeup

This team has no pride. In this lifelong fan's opinion, things are as bad now as they were under JFJ's watch, and that's saying something. It hurts to watch.

2012-03-29 21.30.29.jpg

I was comfortably numb in my apathetic state until Ford Canada woke me up. Now I've seen the carnage for myself and it's ugly. Toronto ugly.

Bonus Video:


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Arrested Drunk Guy Sings Bohemian Rhapsody

Arrested Drunk Guy Sings Bohemian RhapsodyTitled as found.

This is the back of an RCMP car in Edson, Alberta. They thought he was drunk, but later found it it was merely....

...Mercury poisoning.

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Did You Own R.O.B. for the NES?

nesWe had the old 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System growing up. We didn't have R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy), however.

As you'll see from this NES ad, initial marketing efforts put a lot of focus on R.O.B., the robot you play with.

Despite loving my NES, I barely remember R.O.B. It seems Nintendo only ever released two games that you could play with R.O.B.: Gyromite and Stack-Up.

474px-NES-ROB

Did anyone actually own R.O.B.?

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Earl Scruggs, Dead at 88

In MemoriumEarl Scruggs was 88. He was a bluegrass legend and banjo pioneer who helped profoundly change country music with Bill Monroe and later with guitarist Lester Flatt.


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My Life as a Leafs Fan

tml

[via greek colin farrell]

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McDonald's Blue Jay Hats with Ernie Whitt in 1986

memoryYouTube 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 1986, McDonald's sold Blue Jay hats for $1.99. Ernie Whitt starred in the ad, shown below.

This one's for my brother Ryan who was absolutely certain the fans at Exhibition Stadium were cheering "We want Whitt! We want Whitt!"


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Terrible Ad on TTC

ttcLaurence Lui just tweeted an ad seen on the TTC. It seems to be for some bible studies service and it's an answer to a very serious question from a kid. "My mom and dad do drugs at home and it scares me. Will you help them stop?"

The ad answers that question by telling the kid not to worry but to just pray.

terribleidea

If a kid happens to land on this page after Googling "My mom and dad do drugs at home and it scares me. Will you help them stop?", I'd ask that they please call 1-800-668-6868 now. That's the Kids Help Phone folks and they do good work.

The TTC should be ashamed for accepting this bible study ad. It might be the worst possible advice, a kin to telling the kid to STFU and deal with it. I hope it gets pulled before someone actually follows the awful advice.

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Asterix and Obelix

Asterix and ObelixDuring my web travels last night, I stumbled upon a clever and simple Lego ad that brought back flood of memories. Here's that ad.

lego-asterix

I saw the ad and instantly saw my old friends Asterix and Obelix. When I was a kid, I would save my allowance until I had the $5 required to buy another issue of Asterix and Obelix from a book store on Markham Street across from Honest Ed's.

This was the early-to-mid 80s, and I have no idea how I discovered Asterix and Obelix, but I loved those books about a village of Gauls who resist Roman occupation thanks to a magic potion brewed by their druid.

asterix-obelix

Initially, I assumed most English-speaking Canadians were into Asterix and Obelix, but eventually discovered that they were pretty obscure in this neck of the woods. They're huge in Europe, but an English-speaking Canadian kid was always more likely to read Tintin than Asterix. I tried Tintin, but always missed my pals Asterix and Obelix.

Did anyone else read volumes of Asterix comics?

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No Woman, No Cry / Betterman from Arnhem '06



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How Baseballs Are Made

How Baseballs Are MadeIt's almost April, when hope springs eternal. Get in the mood by watching how damn tough it is to make baseballs.

Brett Lawrie for MVP.

Discuss "How Baseballs Are Made" (1 comment so far)


Bert Randolph Sugar, Dead at 74

In MemoriumBert Randolph Sugar was 74. He was a legendary boxing writer and historian, and one of the sport's most iconic characters.

I always loved his appearances on Prime Time Sports. The man knew boxing and knew how to tell a story like no other.

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Haven't Seen a Goal in Oh So Long #tfc

toronto fcI was lucky enough to be invited by Elvis to join him in the supporter's section of BMO Field for the TFC Match yesterday. We lost 3-0, but I still had fun.

tfc

Of course, it would have been more fun if I had witnessed a goal for the home team. Funnily enough, I wrote the same thing after the last Toronto sporting event I attended, a 0-0 shootout loss for the Leafs vs. Flyers.

Let's see... the Leafs played 65 minutes without scoring, TFC just played 90+ minutes... that's a lot of shitty action I've been enjoying in this fine city!

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CHUM Charts Resurrected

CHUM ChartsOn March 25, 2009, 1050 CHUM became CP24 Radio 1050. I was quick to grab the CHUM Chart for the week I was born because before you knew it the old 1050CHUM.com site was offline.

I remember being pretty ticked about this. I even wrote a plea to CTVglobemedia. If they released the CHUM Charts archive to me, I'd build a site and host them myself. They didn't bite.

I'm pleased to share that http://chumtribute.ca/ is now online and it has most of the old CHUM Charts online. It's a work in progress, so I'm sure they'll all be there soon.

I'm not sure who's behind chumtribute.ca, but it claims to be a "tribute to Allan Waters, the Waters family and everyone who worked at 1050 CHUM as a music station from 1957 until it became TSN 1050." Even they've erased the CP24 Radio experiment from the history books.

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Toronto Sun Headline Today

newspaperThe headline of today's Toronto Sun is "THAT KINDA DAY", but it's the picture of Rob Ford that makes it sing.

Kinda funny, if you ask me.

CAN_TSUN

[via Newseum]

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Theism vs. Atheism vs. Agnosticism

bibleThe other day I posted an image comparing an American $100 bill and a Canadian $100 bill. It seems to have ruffled a few feathers.

When it comes to God (or Yahweh, El, Allah, etc.), you typically get a passionate response. Those who believe, believe so fully you simply can't reason with them. Those who don't believe often come across as pretentious or arrogant. The subject is often taboo for a reason.

I would like to know if you regard yourself as a theist, atheist or agnostic. Feel free to elaborate with reasons why. Also, if you wish to feel more anonymous than you already are, feel free to use a nickname.

The iPhone vs. Android vs. Blackberry and Windows vs. Mac vs. Linux discussions were awesome. I think we can have a civil and interesting Theism vs. Atheism vs. Agnosticism discussion as well.

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Do It For Her, Leafs: How I Measure The Drought

leafsI remember Maple Leaf playoff hockey. Here's my entry following our last playoff game on May 4, 2004. At a quick glance, 2004 might not seem like that long ago, so I'd like to offer you some perspective.

This is my daughter. Soon, she'll turn 8-years old.

Michelle

She was born after the Leafs' last playoff game meaning the Maple Leafs have never played a playoff game in her lifetime.

She, essentially, is the measuring stick I use when actualizing this drought. She's about to finish grade two. She's fluent in two languages. She's got interesting ideas and a great sense of humour and there's no telling when I'll be able to sit down with her to watch Maple Leaf playoff hockey. Will it be next year? When she's ten? We seem as far away today as we were the day Burke was hired.

I'm done with Leafs hockey for the year, and it's only March. Complete apathy is setting in, yet still I yearn to share playoff hockey with my kids. If the Leafs won't do it for me, maybe they'll do it for her.

Do-It-For-Her

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Shrek the Musical in Toronto

Shrek the Musical in TorontoI took my daughter to the opening night of Shrek the Musical last night at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. She's seven, and she loved every minute of it. Heck, I should have had her write this review, because I'm not sure it matters what I thought.

From an adult's perspective, it was pretty decent. The dragon was very cool, Lord Farquad played on his knees was great, and if a song ever got boring, I just looked to my left and watched Michelle having a blast.

shrek

John Gallagher was sitting behind me, and he brought his wife. I'm thinking this is a show you want to bring your kids to, or at least a nephew or niece you have lying around. It was absolutely perfect for my seven year old, but I wouldn't have wanted to go alone.

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Erin Davis & the CHFI-Lites - Blue Jays B. Goode

jaysThe Jays are 13-4 this spring. That's awesome, but we know better than to get our hopes up based on a good Grapefruit League record.

Still, it's fun to dream of a return to the playoffs for the first time since '93. This Blue Jays fever is the perfect segue into a sweet piece of retro Blue Jays audio.

This song is called Blue Jays B. Goode and it's performed by 98.1 CHFI morning show host Erin Davis and her backing band the CHFI-lites. Oh Blue Jays be good today!

Other awesome Blue Jays audio from Toronto Mike:

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First Day of Spring 2012

sunIt's the vernal equinox, people!

If your Latin skills are rusty, today is the first day of spring. I can't think of a better way to celebrate than by spinning that CanCon classic "The First Day of Spring" by The Gandharvas.


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Josie Dye Murders O Canada

Josie Dye Murders O CanadaBC just left this comment on my The Weather entry.

I cant be leave you haven't posted this yet Mike. Its Josie Dye trying to sing O'Canada at the Toronto Rock game the other night. How is she still at the Edge again? LOL

It seems the Toronto Rock played the Buffalo Bandits in National Lacrosse League action on Friday night, and Edge 102's Josie Dye was there to sing O Canada. Here she is, absolutely destroying our national anthem.

Yikes.

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The Weather

toronto weatherI monitor Toronto weather via gCast, a simple little Chrome extension. Here's what it looks like right now:

weather

26°, 25°, 31°, 25°... those numbers are absolutely sick for March. I took last week off to enjoy March Break with the kids, and we were out playing catch every day. I wore shorts and sandals, and it looks like I'll be doing the same this week. In my lifetime, I can't recall a winter as mild as this one. It's ridiculous.

If I offered you 26°, 25°, 31° and 25° highs in May, you'd take it. Heck, these temps look good for June. The weather in Toronto is hot... damn hot.

I'm not complaining. I just came back from a nice walk and tried to remember a March that was even close to this one. I couldn't come up with one.

This concludes my obligatory Toronto weather entry on the warmest March 19th in recorded history.

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The Lone Gunmen's 9/11 Prediction

9/11I just had one of those 9/11 conspiracy documentaries playing in the background while I worked. It mentions National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's statement that "No one could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile.".

That reminded me of The Lone Gunmen's pilot. The Lone Gunmen was an X-Files spinoff. I was a big X-Files fan, and gave The Lone Gunmen a shot. They didn't have it, but they did have this scene that originally aired on March 4, 2001.

If you're too busy to watch that, I'll summarize it for you. It involves a plot by the US government to crash a plane into the World Trade Center and blame it on an unnamed dictator in order to start a fake war.

Clearly, Condoleezza Rice was wrong. Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, predicted 9/11.

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$100 USD vs. $100 CAD

moneyThere's a clear different between the American and Canadian $100 bill.

money

Advantage: Canada.

Discuss "$100 USD vs. $100 CAD" (26 comments so far)


High Park Castle Playground Burns in Fire

fireIn the wee hours of this St. Patrick's Day morning, the High Park wooden playground burned. The fire was set on purpose. That's right, arson burned this castle to the ground.

When my kids were younger, they loved that playground. Here's a photo I took during the summer of 2007.

High Park Playground

I just have one question: who would purposely burn down a wooden castle in a popular park that brings joy to thousands of kids each summer?

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50 Songs With 'Green' in the Title for St. Patrick's Day

shamrockHappy St. Patrick's Day! Here are 50 songs from my collection with the word 'green' in the title.

  • Bein' Green - Kermit the Frog
  • Big Green Country - Neil Young
  • Bitter Green - Gordon Lightfoot
  • Blue In Green - Miles Davis
  • Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You - Wilson Pickett
  • Dr. Greenthumb - Cypress Hill
  • Fiddler's Green - The Tragically Hip
  • Gabbage Greens No. 1 - Champion Jack Dupree
  • Gabbage Greens No. 2 - Champion Jack Dupree
  • Ganggreen - Ministry
  • Gary the Green-Nosed Reindeer - Various Artists
  • Girl In Green - Blue Rodeo
  • The Grass is Green - Nelly Furtado
  • Green Acres - The Meatmen
  • Green Apples - Chantal Kreviazuk
  • Green Christmas - Barenaked Ladies
  • Green Corn - NOFX
  • Green Day - Green Day
  • Green Disease - Pearl Jam
  • Green Eggs And Swine - 3rd Bass
  • Green Eyes - Coldplay
  • Green Eyes - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  • The Green Fields of France - Dropkick Murphys
  • Green Forest Theme - Unknown
  • Green Gloves - The National
  • Green Goodnight - Emm Gryner
  • Green Grass & High Tides - The Outlaws
  • Green Green Grass Of Home - Tom Jones
  • Green Hornet - Al Hirt
  • Green Jellö Theme Song - Green Jellÿ
  • Green Manalishi - Fleetwood Mac
  • Green Onions - Booker T. & the MG's
  • Green River - Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Green Shirt - Elvis Costello & the Attractions
  • Green Tambourine - The Lemon Pipers
  • Greenland Whale Fisheries - The Pogues
  • Greensleeves - Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • Greenspond - Great Big Sea
  • Last Caress / Green Hell - Metallica
  • Little Green Bag - George Baker
  • Green Acres Theme - Vic Mizzy
  • O Green World - Gorillaz
  • Off To Dublin In The Green - Porters
  • The Orange And The Green - The Irish Rovers
  • Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore - The Young Dubliners
  • Poor Howard Green Corn - Leadbelly
  • Red Light - Green Light - Limp Bizkit
  • Turning Green - Aimless
  • When Green Eyes Turn Blue - Elvis Costello
  • The World's Green Laughter - B-52's

Let me know if I missed anything in the comments.

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St. Patrick's Open Mike

shamrockLabhair faoi rud ar bith agat le do thoil. Mbaineann an spás a thabhairt duit.

What's on your mind this warm St. Patrick's Day weekend?

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Has Google+ Ruined Google?

googleFormer Google engineer James Whittaker as written an interesting blog entry about why he left Google to return to Microsoft.

The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.

Under Eric Schmidt ads were always in the background. Google was run like an innovation factory, empowering employees to be entrepreneurial through founder’s awards, peer bonuses and 20% time. Our advertising revenue gave us the headroom to think, innovate and create. Forums like App Engine, Google Labs and open source served as staging grounds for our inventions. The fact that all this was paid for by a cash machine stuffed full of advertising loot was lost on most of us. Maybe the engineers who actually worked on ads felt it, but the rest of us were convinced that Google was a technology company first and foremost; a company that hired smart people and placed a big bet on their ability to innovate.

Larry Page himself assumed command to right this wrong. Social became state-owned, a corporate mandate called Google+. It was an ominous name invoking the feeling that Google alone wasn’t enough. Search had to be social. Android had to be social. You Tube, once joyous in their independence, had to be … well, you get the point. Even worse was that innovation had to be social. Ideas that failed to put Google+ at the center of the universe were a distraction.

Suddenly, 20% meant half-assed. Google Labs was shut down. App Engine fees were raised. APIs that had been free for years were deprecated or provided for a fee. As the trappings of entrepreneurship were dismantled, derisive talk of the “old Google” and its feeble attempts at competing with Facebook surfaced to justify a “new Google” that promised “more wood behind fewer arrows.”

So there you have it. According to James Whittaker, Google+ has ruined Google.

And yes, I still visit Google+ every day, but none of you are there. I enjoy the updates of exactly 4 people. It's a shame Google had to lose its way for such little traction.

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Blue Jays Version of Terry Cashman's "Talkin' Baseball"

bluejaysFolks, I need some help.

I'm looking for an MP3 of the Blue Jays version of Terry Cashman's "Talkin' Baseball". It's a glaring omission from http://www.torontomike.com/blue_jays_songs/ for one reason and one reason only. I don't have it!

If anyone out there does, please contact me.

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Stephen Harper's Erection

Stephen Harper's ErectionWhen speaking French, Prime Minister Stephen Harper likes to pronounce "election" as "erection".


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Which Undefeated Should I Watch?

Which Undefeated Should I Watch?I'm conflicted.

Two Undefeated documentaries are calling my name. Both look great, but I only have time to watch one...

Do I watch this Undefeated? "A documentary that follows the Manassas Tigers football team, a severely underfunded and underprivileged football team -- who were even hired out as a practice team for more successful schools -- as they reverse their fortunes, thanks to coach Bill Courtney."

undefeated

Or do I watch this (The) Undefeated? "A documentary that chronicles Sarah Palin's pre-political life; her tenure as Governor of Alaska, and her time spent as John McCain's running mate."

the-undefeated

Which do you think is better?

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Maple Leafs Season, 2011-12

The Passion That Torments Us All

Let's finish last.

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100 Podcasts: A Humble and Fred Milestone

100 Podcasts: A Humble and Fred MilestoneI spent the afternoon at Redfish studios for the recording of Humble and Fred's 100th podcast and a little celebration afterwards.

It's hard to believe the guys have 100 shows in the can already. I first teased this little experiment on August 4th, 2011 and sat down with Humble and Fred on August 16 to hammer out the details. On September 6th, I spilled the details here. Without a traditional radio station gig, Humble and Fred would record their own podcast daily and share it digitally with the masses. 100 episodes later, they have an unprecedented deal with Rogers, actual sponsors paying real money and, most importantly, content that keeps me tuning in day in and day out.

In addition to an assortment of well-wishers, there was a very large cookie. I took home the leftovers and my kids couldn't be happier.

Biggest cookie ever

Julie Adam was there from Rogers to present this gift from the Rogers empire.

2012-03-13 11.24.50.jpg

It was a fun afternoon, with catering by my good buddy at Palma Pasta and a chance for my kids to watch a radio show broadcast. Well, I told them it was radio...

2012-03-13 11.12.28.jpg

Congrats, guys... I'm looking forward to the one year anniversary party in October.

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iPhone vs. Android vs. Blackberry

phoneOn the heels of our great discussion about computer operating systems, I want to know what OS is running on your smart phone. I have a Samsung Galaxy S II running Android. I've had it for about six months after years of using a Blackberry.

I love my Android, but I know people who literally make out with their iPhones. I've never made out with my Android.

android-vs-apple-vs-blackberry

Which smart phone do you own? You can let me know in the comments if it was forced on you by work or whether you chose it voluntarily. I'm very interested to know if anyone is using a Windows phone voluntarily... I've yet to see one in the wild.

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Windows vs. Mac vs. Linux

mouseI have a work-issued MacBook Pro running OS X, a laptop running Windows 7 and a desktop running Ubuntu 11.10. That makes me lucky enough to have the big three operating systems at my fingertips.

platforms

I work from home, and the bulk of my work is done on the Ubuntu Linux desktop. Here's a breakdown as to how I use these three machines.

Ubuntu 11.10

  • Primary computer for work and play
  • Where I listen to music, podcasts, update this blog and make a living
  • My preferred OS

Mac OS X

  • When I'm not at my desk, I go mobile with the MacBook Pro
  • When I need Photoshop or to attend a GoToMeeting session, I return to the Mac
  • It feels solid, looks great and is pretty fast, but I haven't yet fallen in love with this OS

Windows 7

  • My son loves this laptop, because he can play his Windows-only games on it
  • Otherwise, Windows bugs me...

I'm very curious as to which OS you use at home and work, and which is your preference. Windows, Mac or Linux?

Discuss "Windows vs. Mac vs. Linux" (51 comments so far)


Would?

Would?About five years ago, I wondered which 15 albums I would own if I could only own 15 albums. The first album on that list was Alice in Chains' Dirt.

What can I say about Dirt? If it's okay with you, I'd like to steal from myself again. Here's what I wrote about Dirt 8 years ago this month:

Truth be known, I spin this disc about ten times a week on average. The tone of this entire disc is dark and it blends well with a particular mood I'm often in while working hard on a project. Every song on this cd is awesome.

I first heard Alice in Chains' "Would?" on the Singles soundtrack back in 1992, but it eventually made its way onto Hurt. "Would?" was written about Andrew Wood, the lead singer of Mother Love Bone who died of a heroin overdose in 1990. It was a perfect little grunge song.

There was the version that appeared on Dirt:

The most excellent unplugged version:

A cool cover by Opeth:

And last but certainly not least, Layne's isolated vocal track:

It's timeless.

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My Son's First Leafs Game

leafsI still remember taking my son James to his first Jays game. That was way back in 2004 and Gabe Gross hit a grand slam, Russ Adams hit his first career home run and Carlos Delgado went deep in a 12-5 victory. Brian Burke sat two rows ahead of us and we had a blast.

It's taken me quite a bit longer to get James to his first Leafs game. We've seen several Jays and Marlies games, and a Raptors game and TFC match, but last night was his first Leafs game, a 1-0 shoot-out loss from the Coke Zero Gondola Box.

In the Coke box watching the Leafs #sweet

I'm not sure how the game played on television, it was quite possibly a snooze-fest, but live there was a good ebb and flow and it was pretty entertaining for a scoreless hockey game. Fatherhood Schmaltz Alert: More than anything, I wanted the Leafs to score. I didn't care if we lost 10-1, I wanted James to hear the horn go and witness the eruption of joy that happens after the home team scores. A bunch of posts later, I didn't get my wish, but James had fun regardless.

The boys first Leafs game!

I want to give a big thanks to Coke Zero for inviting us. It was a part of their big "Impossible Made Possible" campaign and it was amazing not only getting James into a game, but having free food and drink all game long. I'm not blaming Coke Zero for the lack of Leafs goals.

Fwd: Coca-Cola Zero Impossible Made Possible

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March Break Open Mike

microphoneIt's the March Break. That likely doesn't mean anything to you unless you have kids in primary school.

Here in Tank Nation all the buzz is about robo calls, Kony, Sid and Rob Ford's Cut the Waist challenge. Just kidding about that last one...

What's on your mind?

Print

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That Wasn't Me Taking a Licking at the TFC Match

tfcEarlier today, tweets were flying around linking to this video of a fight that broke out in the Rogers Centre stands last night during the TFC match.

Yes, one of the guys taking a licking looks like me, but I'd like my friends and loved ones to know it's not me.

notme

Thank you for your concern, regardless.

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Use Same Character with Mario Kart on the Wii

wiiYou know what's fun? Racing in Mario Kart when everybody in the room is the same character using the same vehicle.

The kids and I are all racing as Diddy Kong in his Mach Bike. Impossible, you say? Thanks to a Wii glitch, it's easy.

My kids were certain Diddy Kong was Donkey Kong's son. In actuality, he's Donkey Kong's nephew.

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Patrick Burke Does a Reddit AMA

Patrick Burke Does a Reddit AMAFlyers scout Patrick Burke, who happens to be Brian Burke's son, did a Reddit AMA today. AMA stands for "ask me anything" and when they're done right, they can be pretty awesome.

Patrick is promoting the You Can Play Project, founded in honour of his brother Brendan to make locker rooms safe for LGBT athletes around the world.

Here are some Patrick Burke answers that would be interesting to Leaf fans.

Q: Can we get your dad for an AMA as well? I'm sure /r/hockey would love that.

A: My dad just mastered his blackberry about 6 months ago. In 15 years when he understands how online message boards work, I will have him do an AMA.

Q: What was Brian Burke like as a dad?

A: Truculent? In all seriousness, the image that the public has of my father is not accurate. He takes on a lot of heat for himself in order to save his team or coach the hassle, and people seem to judge him by that. He sees that as part of his job. He has a very big heart- I guarantee he does more charity work than any other GM in professional sports, and he does it very quietly.

Q: What was your (and your dad's) very first reaction when you found out Brendan was gay?

A: I gave Brendan a hug, told him I didn't care. Then we walked back inside my family's house and I yelled "Mom, you owe me twenty bucks! I always told you he was gay!" An older brother's job is always to harass his younger brother. I wanted Brendan to know that nothing would change about our relationship.

Q: 1) How has your dad handled all the stress of being the GM of the Leafs within the last couple months as they've dropped in the standings?
2) What position do you think the Leafs need to fill the most to be a strong playoff team next year? Who do you think will fill that position (realistically)?
3) What do you think of the media pressure on the coach and your dad in Toronto? How well do you think Wilson and your dad had/have handled the media?
Thanks from a die-hard Leafs fan. (They're actually a religion to me).

A:

I'm still waiting for Patrick Burke to answer that last series...

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Antropov, Kaberle, Ponikarovsky and Stajan Walk Into a Bar...

leafsDuring the Leafs game last night, Joe Bowen mentioned that there were only six active NHLers who had ever played for the Leafs in a playoff game.

That's amazing, but what's more amazing is the fact that there are only four players still playing who can say they played for the Leafs in our last playoff game.

That game, a 3-2 overtime loss to the Flyers, was recapped here on May 4, 2004.

It's tough to look back, but here's what I wrote that night.

I am 29 years old. For every year of my life, the Maple Leafs season has ended without the Leafs captain hoisting Lord Stanley's Mug. You'd think I'd be used to this by now. I'm not.

The overtime was thrilling, the momentum was ours but victory was not to be. This is where I'd chuck in a cliche like "We'll get 'em next year", but I don't even know if there will be a next year. When NHL hockey finally does return, how many of these lovable but grizzled veterans will remain? Have I just witnessed Ed Belfour's last game? What about Gary Roberts? Will Alexander Mogilny return?

I have so much to say but little desire to say it. The fact is I've seen my last Leaf game for quite some time and that's pretty shitty. A second round exit in six games does not come close to meeting my expectations for this team. Anything less than an appearance in the finals would have disappointed me. Tonight I'm downhearted, crying tears of blue and white. I'm going to bed.

Philadelphia wins series 4-2

Little did I know, one day there'd be but four. This is for the survivors, the final four... this is for Antropov, Kaberle, Ponikarovsky and Stajan.

Nik Antropov

antropov

Tomas Kaberle

Kaberle

Alexei Ponikarovsky

ponikarovsky

Matt Stajan

Stajan

I'd give anything for a second round exit this season. Anything.

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The Hidden Cost of Invisible Children (When the Masses Learn About Kony)

moneyHow many of you Googled the name Joseph Kony this morning? An awareness campaign by Invisible Children Inc likely has someone you know and love learning all about Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the bad shit he's been causing in Uganda in the name of Christianity.

Here's the video that's gone viral. IMHO, it's far too long, but if you have 30 minutes to burn you might want to watch this.

I'm not here to piss on the fine work Invisible Children is doing. Kony's one bad dude, and for the record, I'm against all war criminals that use children as soldiers and sex slaves. I just thought this might be a good time to look at Invisible Children, Inc's financial statements.

On page 6, for example, we learn that they spent $1.7m on salaries. Film costs exceeded $350,000 and production costs were another $851,000. Travel expenses were a whopping $1.07 million. In total, you'll see almost $9 million in expenses.

ic

But wait, there's more! On page 12 we have prepaid expenses, which include $751,000 in computer equipment. There's $1.2 million in property and equipment alone.

ic2

Again, I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade. What Joseph Kony is doing is atrocious and I love the fact people are checking Facebook and catching wind of what the LRA is up to in Central Africa, but when you give your money Invisible Children, only expect 31% to make it to the children.

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Cutty: Reformed and Respected

the wireI'm ploughing my way through The Wire a second time. I should wrap up season four this weekend. Dare I say The Greatest Show On Television, Ever™ is even better the second time?

The first time around, I listed my ten favourite characters on The Wire, but that list will be different this time around. This time, guys like Dennis "Cutty" Wise are earning my respect.

cutty

Cutty is the poster boy for reformation, a legendary soldier back in the day who comes out of The Cut after serving fourteen years to learn the game ain't in him no mo'.

Cutty isn't just reformed, he's respected. I love this scene with Cutty, Avon and Slim Charles.

I have a few things to say about Slim Charles, too... but I've got more watching to do first.

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Robert B. Sherman's 5 Most Known Tunes

Robert B. ShermanRobert B. Sherman died today at the nice old age of 86. You probably don't know the name Robert B. Sherman, but you know these five tunes, all penned by Sherman.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Chim Chim Cher-ee

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

It's a Small World (After All)

Spoonful of Sugar

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The Most Astounding Fact

The Most Astounding FactAstrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson was asked by a reader of TIME magazine, "What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?" This is his answer.

Here's the direct quote from the video:

The most astounding fact…the most astounding fact is the knowledge that the atoms that comprise life on Earth, the atoms that make up the human body, are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core under extreme temperatures and pressures. These stars, the high mass ones among them, went unstable in their later years. They collapsed and then exploded, scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy, guts made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and all the fundamental ingredients of life itself. These ingredients become part of gas clouds that condense, collapse, form the next generation of solar systems, stars with orbiting planets, and those planets now have the ingredients for life itself. So that when I look up at the night sky and I know that yes, we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up - many people feel small because they're small and the universe is big, but I feel big, because my atoms came from those stars. There's a level of connectivity. That's what you really want in life, if you want to feel connected, you want to feel relevant, you want to feel like a participant in the goings on of activities and events around you. That's precisely what we are, just by being alive.

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Pokémon: I Can't Even Fake It

thumbsdownI'm 37-years old and my son is ten. I like to think I'm a pretty savvy dad, with an advanced knowledge of video games and new technologies, and my ear to the ground with regards to today's pop music and pop culture. When my son's interests diverge from mine, I usually know enough to fake it.

The great exception to the above is Pokémon. My son loves all things Pokémon, and has for years. Recently, he's been doing a deep dive into old titles for the Game Boy Colour and Game Boy Advance. Some of these games date back to the late 90s, but I'm so completely clueless when it comes to Pokémon that I can't even fake it.

I just missed Pokémon. It took off when I was far too old to care, like Tomogatchi and Pogs. Even after reading the Wikipedia page I don't get Pokémon enough to fake it.

pikachu

At least I was savvy enough to score him 21 Pokémon roms and emulators for Game Boy Colour, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS.

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Three Little Pigs Guardian Campaign

Guardian CampaignThe Guardian is a British national daily newspaper, founded in 1921. Their latest ad is a modern update on The Three Little Pigs fairytale and I quite like it.

Great ad, isn't it?

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Open Mike

microphoneDid March come in like a lion? I honestly couldn't tell.

This feels like March because the Leafs are preparing for the golf course and yesterday I thought about whether I need new baseball cleats.

What's on your mind?

Print

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Smells Like Teen Spirit Isolated Vocals

nirvanaI love me some grunge, so I thoroughly enjoyed this find. It's Kurt Cobain's vocal track for Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit and it's pretty awesome.

Not to be outdone, here's another grunge god who died far too early. This is Layne Staley's vocal tracks for Alice in Chains' Man in the Box.

Love it.

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Every Damn Time *sniff* Without Failure (Guaranteed Tears)

catch?I first watched Field of Dreams in 1989, and the "catch with dad" scene made me cry back then.

It still makes me cry. Every. Damn. Time.

This scene is viciously unfair in its perfect and painful portrayal of... awww, forget it. I can't do this now.

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Brampton Extreme Slopitch League vs. RSPA

Brampton Extreme Slopitch LeagueMy slo-pitch team has been playing in the RSPA for several years now, but we're looking for a change. The RSPA doesn't have a set schedule, and often it will be Friday before you know what time and night you're playing the following week. It's tough to plan a summer when you have no idea which night you're playing each week.

One league we're looking at is the Brampton Extreme Slopitch League. The entire schedule is posted before the season begins and most games will take place at the Powerade Centre in Brampton. It sounds promising, but I'd love to hear from some folks who play in the Brampton Extreme Slopitch League.

If you play in the Brampton Extreme Slopitch League, let me know what you think of it.

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