June 2012 Archives

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Italia è la squadra più forte. Italia è la squadra preferita!
Published by Toronto Mike on June 30, 2012 @ 08:25 in Sports

Viva l'Italia, la squadra italiana e tutti gli italiani! Anche io vorrei essere Italiano!

italy

Adesso devo andare subito comprarmi una bandiera Italiana per la mia auto.

Italy squad

[context]

Canada Day Long Weekend Open Mike
Published by Toronto Mike on June 29, 2012 @ 09:06 in Open Mike

Open MikeI love a long weekend, especially the Canada Day long weekend.

Nothing says Canada Day like uncensored on-line communication. I stand by my record: 41316 comments and only two deletions.

Print

You know the drill, discuss anything you want in this space. And if you have a question, I'll drop by throughout the day to answer you.

My Euro 2012 Bet With Il Duce (I'm With Germany)
Published by Toronto Mike on June 28, 2012 @ 10:28 in Sports

soccerThose of you with good memories will remember the story of Il Duce. The rest of you will need to read this.

Essentially, Il Duce has been commenting on this blog for years, taking great delight in "busting my balls". Then, I met him in person and he was the nicest guy. There are two Il Duces, and the ball busting one has a bet with me for this afternoon's Euro 2012 semi-final between Germany and Italy.

I'll bet you know which sides we've taken. Il Duce, @LasagnaKing on Twitter, has Italy. I'm going with the country I spent a week in earlier this year, Germany.

I love lasagna, especially Palma Pasta lasagna. Go Germany!

Captain John’s Restaurant Ordered to Shut Down
Published by Toronto Mike on June 27, 2012 @ 11:36 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

Captain John'sI've never been to Captain John's floating restaurant in the water at Yonge and Queen's Quay. I've walked by it a hundred times but never felt the urge to go inside.

Now, it's possible I'll never get that chance.

Waterfront Toronto rescinded its lease for the watery slip at the foot of Yonge St. Tuesday and warned “Captain” John Letnik that he has until July 27 to remove everything, including the ship’s weather-beaten signs.

At the same time, the City of Toronto shut off water to the ship and a health department inspector ordered the restaurant closed because staff would be unable to wash utensils or their hands.

It seems Letnik owes more than $500,000 in back taxes, rent and insurance on the slip and 300-foot ship. Is this the end of Captain John's Restaurant, a Toronto landmark since 1970?

captainjohns

The Sugarcubes - Birthday
Published by Toronto Mike on June 27, 2012 @ 08:30 in Weekly MP3s

MP3I'm on a roll with the weekly MP3. What is this, four weeks in a row?

You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it before playing.

play The Sugarcubes - Birthday
Ah Björk, how I've missed you. This is the first hit from Björk's band and it still sounds great.

Oh... and birthdays rule.

Nora Ephron, Dead at 71
Published by Toronto Mike on June 26, 2012 @ 20:05 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumNora Ephron was 71. She was the Oscar-nominated director and author best known for writing When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and Julie & Julia.


Mats Sundin Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame
Published by Toronto Mike on June 26, 2012 @ 15:13 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Mats Sundin Inducted into Hockey Hall of FameMaple Leafs great Mats Sundin has been voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, joining Joe Sakic, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure. This was Sundin's first year of eligibility.

I loved Sundin, I think we all did... well, most of us appreciated him as a person, competitor and highly skilled centre. But then, he hurt us.

Instead of dwelling on that pain, I choose to remember Mats as a great Maple Leaf, and definitely one of the greatest in my lifetime. And if you have a little time, and want to read how I managed to move on after Mats signed with Vancouver, this entry contains all the blood, sweat and tears.

Mats Sundin is in the Hockey Hall of Fame and Leafs fans should be proud.

Mats Sundin

Heaven's Gate Site Lives Forever
Published by Toronto Mike on June 26, 2012 @ 11:36 in Technology

Heaven's Gate Site Lives ForeverRemember back in March 1997 when Marshall Applewhite and his Heaven's Gate cult committed mass suicide in order to leave Earth for a space craft that was trailing the comet Hale-Bopp? Well, they had a website at http://www.heavensgate.com/ to explain to the rest of us why they had to off themselves.

hbhgtd

Someone's been keeping that site online, because it remains in tact as it was that day in 1997. Here's their press release issued March 22, 1997. I like the catchy title: "HEAVEN'S GATE® "Away Team" Returns to Level Above Human in Distant Space".

I'm a web guy, meaning I do digital marketing and create and maintain quite a bit of web infrastructure. In fact, I started doing this shortly after the Heaven's Gate site was last updated, so it's easy to spot the difference between sites then and now.

No Google Analytics or Other Tracking Scripts
Viewing the source, it's strange to see HTML without some sort of analytics scripting for measuring visitors. Sure, the site's server will still have log files that can be parsed, but what site in 2012 doesn't have a Google Analytics script embedded, or StatCounter, or whatever. Tracking codes are everywhere.

<meta name="keywords" content="EVERYTHING">
Back in 1997, this is how site gamed the popular search engines of the time. We're talking Yahoo!, Excite, AltaVista, Lycos and the like. Heaven's Gate loaded up on keywords, including the terms "Jesus" and "God" six times each.

No CSS
Today, the majority of a site's mark-up happens in the CSS. CSS is how colours are changed, font sizes and styles manipulated and basically all decoration is handled. In 1997, everything was done in the HTML. The body tag, for example, looks like this: <body bgcolor="#000000" background="img/tile.jpg" text="#33ffcc" link="#cc99ff" vlink="#66cccc" alink="#ff0066">

.htm Files
Blame Microsoft for this one. Today you don't see many .htm files, but in 1997 that's what Microsoft created instead of .html. Perhaps Heaven's Gate used FrontPage or another Microsoft editor.

Hidden On-Page Keywords
In 1997, search engines weren't as sophisticated, so you could game them but putting keywords on your site that were the same colour as your background. To the visitor they were invisible, but to the search engines of the time, they were indexed as normal HTML text. Heaven's Gate has a bunch of these keywords in the footer of their home page, but you'll have to select the text to see them.

Check this out!

<font size="0" color="#000000">Heaven's Gate Heaven's Gate Heaven's Gate Heaven's Gate Heaven's Gate Heaven's Gate Heaven's Gate Heaven's Gate ufo ufo ufo ufo ufo ufo ufo ufo ufo ufo ufo ufo space alien space alien space alien space alien space alien space alien space alien space alien space alien space alien space alien space alien extraterrestrial extraterrestrial extraterrestrial extraterrestrial extraterrestrial extraterrestrial extraterrestrial extraterrestrial extraterrestrial extraterrestrial extraterrestrial extraterrestrial extraterrestrial extraterrestrial misinformation misinformation misinformation misinformation misinformation misinformation misinformation misinformation misinformation misinformation misinformation misinformation freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom second coming second coming second coming second coming second coming second coming second coming second coming second coming second coming angels angels angels angels angels angels angels angels angels angels end end times times end times end times end times end times end times end times end times end times end times </font size>

<font size="0" color="#000000">Key Words: (for search engines) 144,000, Abductees, Agnostic, Alien, Allah, Alternative, Angels, Antichrist, Apocalypse, Armageddon, Ascension, Atheist, Awakening, Away Team, Beyond Human, Blasphemy, Boddhisattva, Book of Revelation, Buddha, Channeling, Children of God, Christ, Christ's Teachings, Consciousness, Contactees, Corruption, Creation, Death, Discarnate, Discarnates, Disciple, Disciples, Disinformation, Dying, Ecumenical, End of the Age, End of the World, Eternal Life, Eunuch, Evolution, Evolutionary, Extraterrestrial, Freedom, Fulfilling Prophecy, Genderless, Glorified Body, God, God's Children, God's Chosen, God's Heaven, God's Laws, God's Son, Guru, Harvest Time, He's Back, Heaven, Heaven's Gate, Heavenly Kingdom, Higher Consciousness, His Church, Human Metamorphosis, Human Spirit, Implant, Incarnation, Interfaith, Jesus, Jesus' Return, Jesus' Teaching, Kingdom of God, Kingdom of Heaven, Krishna Consciousness, Lamb of God, Last Days, Level Above Human, Life After Death, Luciferian, Luciferians, Meditation, Members of the Next Level, Messiah, Metamorphosis, Metaphysical, Millennium, Misinformation, Mothership, Mystic, Next Level, Non Perishable, Non Temporal, Older Member, Our Lords Return, Out of Body Experience, Overcomers, Overcoming, Past Lives, Prophecy, Prophecy Fulfillment, Rapture, Reactive Mind, Recycling the Planet, Reincarnation, Religion, Resurrection, Revelations, Saved, Second Coming, Soul, Space Alien, Spacecraft, Spirit, Spirit Filled, Spirit Guide, Spiritual, Spiritual Awakening, Star People, Super Natural, Telepathy, The Remnant, The Two, Theosophy, Ti and Do, Truth, Two Witnesses, UFO, Virginity, Walk-ins, Yahweh, Yeshua, Yoda, Yoga,</font size>

No Favicon in that Tiny Head
The <head> part of Heaven's Gate's HTML is quite small compared to today's sites. There's no DOCTYPE declaration or encoding. And throw in the fact there's no Favicon or CSS or JavaScripts and you have a very tiny head.

But my favourite part of the preserved Heaven's Gate website is their page about suicide. It seems they were against it.

Oxfam Trailwalker, Ferrari and the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook
Published by Toronto Mike on June 25, 2012 @ 11:35 in Miscellaneous

Oxfam Trailwalker, Ferrari and the Dell XPSI have some loose ends I need to tie up, so this entry is a 3-for-1 treat.

Oxfam Trailwalker
I mentioned I'm looking for proxies to participate in the Oxfam Trailwalker hike from Wasaga Beach to Midland, Ontario. I've since adopted a team called 4 Chicks in the Woods, which I'll write more about soon, but I'm still looking for folks interested in working with a team for this great cause. I've got one reader looking for three others, perhaps you're one of those missing three?

Ferrari
There's still time to enter to win one of 10 free Ferrari Fan Zone tickets for the upcoming Toronto Indy. You have through Thursday to enter here.

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook
I've been meaning to update everyone on my experience with Dell's XPS 13 Ultrabook. For a laptop running Windows, I'm damn impressed. It's light and thin and looks great, but more importantly, it's stable and fast and gets the job done right. If you're looking for a MacBook Pro with Windows, here's your answer. It's working out so well, I'm not even going to wipe it and install Ubuntu.

So there ya go... three for one.

London Olympic Mascots Remind Me of Kang and Kodos
Published by Toronto Mike on June 25, 2012 @ 10:06 in Olympics, The Simpsons

olympicsI've been giggling at the official logo for the 2012 London Olympic games since it was unveiled 5 years ago. Click over and see what I mean.

I've only recently checked out the mascots for these upcoming Olympic games, and they're a little goofy as well. They're called Wenlock and Mandeville and here they are:

londonmascot

When I see them, all I can think of is Kang and Kodos from The Simpsons Halloween specials.

kang-kodos

Leafs Trade Luke Schenn to Philadelphia for James Van Riemsdyk
Published by Toronto Mike on June 23, 2012 @ 20:34 in Toronto Maple Leafs

XXXThe Leafs have a ton of defencemen, and needed to get bigger up front, so Brian Burke pulled the trigger on a deal with Philadelphia that unites the Schenn brothers in Philly and brings big left-winger James Van Riemsdyk to the blue and white.

Van Riemsdyk missed most of last season with a broken foot, but had career highs in goals (21), points (40) and a plus-15 in 75 games during the previous season.

Luke Schenn, on the other hand, was drafted by the Leafs fifth overall in 2008 and it wasn't long before we were comparing him to Scott Stevens. Ok, that was just me, but I'm so full of hope and optimism I get a over excited by a solid period of pre-season play by a Leafs prospect. I thought Jiri Tlusty was Peter Forsberg.

Since then, it became apparent that Luke Schenn wasn't Scott Stevens. He's more of a Chris Kotsopoulos.

Good luck, Luke... your Jedi skills are required elsewhere.

Luke-Schenn

Farewell Old Friend: My New Bike
Published by Toronto Mike on June 22, 2012 @ 11:21 in Biking in Toronto

bikeAbout four years ago, I thought I'd restore my old bike. Here's what I wrote back then about my beloved old bike:

I named him Cody, because when I bought him in 1990, that's what the folks at the now defunct Bloor Cycle called the model. It was $400, which seemed like an awful lot of dough to this teenager. My buddy Ed and I were into skateboarding, and periodically I'd throw a skateboard or surf sticker on the frame. From 1990 through 1999 I rode that bike like crazy. It got me to and from work, to and from high school and university, all over the city. I lived on my bike until I moved out of a basement apartment on Clendenan and into a high rise. That's when Cody went into storage.

Life got in the way, and I never did get back into biking that summer. I've since retired Cody and am now the proud owner of a new Giant Escape 2. Here's the old and the new, passing the torch.

2012-06-21 22.41.23

So far, so good. I've been out four of the past five days and I'm feeling the love again. But I can't throw out Cody... I think I'll restore her out of love.

Heat Wave Open Mike
Published by Toronto Mike on June 22, 2012 @ 09:27 in Open Mike

Open MikeWould it bother you if I told you this heat wave didn't really bother me? It seems a number of you hate it, but I haven't really noticed anything different except that I sweat more when I bike / walk / play ball. I just drink more water to make sure I stay hydrated.

So complain about the heat we just endured if you must, but I'm not going to join the chorus. I'll take that over those bone chilling -20° days every day of the week.

Print

You know the drill, discuss anything you want in this space. And if you have a question, I'll drop by throughout the day to answer you.

I Have 10 Ferrari Fan Zone Tickets for Toronto Indy to Give Away
Published by Toronto Mike on June 21, 2012 @ 14:36 in Miscellaneous

Ferrari Fan Zone Tickets for Toronto IndyThe fine folks at Ferrari are giving me 10 Ferrari Fan Zone tickets to give away to readers of this blog. The Ferrari Fan Zone is a dedicated area just for enthusiastic Ferrari and racing fans at the Toronto Indy on July 7 and 8.

To enter, go here. This contest closes June 28 and the winners announced on June 29. The odds are pretty incredible, and you know Ferrari is going to do things up nice, but you can't win if you don't enter.

ferrari

If you like Ferrari, cars or racing, I'm thinking it's a no-brainer to enter this one.

World's Biggest Bookstore to Close
Published by Toronto Mike on June 21, 2012 @ 10:12 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

World's Biggest BookstoreIndigo Books and Music won't renew their lease for the World's Biggest Bookstore on Edward Street near Yonge and Dundas. When the lease expires at the end of 2013, it will likely become a suburban type big-box store, like a Home Depot or Best Buy or Wal-Mart. The World's Biggest Bookstore will be no more.

I haven't been in many years, but in my youth a trip to Sam the Record Man would often be followed by a trip to the World's Biggest Bookstore. It's always been there, and it's sad to see it go, but things change and books, like music, have gone digital. As Bobby would say, the times they are a changin'.

worlds-biggest-bookstore

The best part about the World's Biggest Bookstore might just be that name. What kid doesn't want to visit the world's biggest bookstore? It turns out, that name is a lie. The current Guinness record-holder in the category of largest bookshop is a Barnes and Noble on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

I don't know what to believe any more...

Online Shopping Coupons and Promo Codes
Published by Toronto Mike on June 21, 2012 @ 09:44 in Guest Blog Entries

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to TorontoMike.com. I received the following entry from Charlie.

Next time you’re shopping online for a great deal, check out CouponCodes.ca!

Everyone wants to get a discount when they shop online and I’m constantly looking for my next saving. The best place to look for exclusive offers for Canada are discount sites such as Couponcodes.ca.

CouponCodes.ca offers the best coupons and promo codes for Canada easily and conveniently to save you time and money! Right now they have over 21,000 online coupons and discounts on their website. I found some great deals online for Puma and made a big saving on my purchase.

You can find savings for all your purchases, whether you’re shopping with Toms, Amazon, Dell, Sears or Expedia I’m sure you can find the right coupon for you. Make sure you don’t dawdle when you’re shopping; many of their coupons expire quickly.

It’s not just online where you can make big savings; they also have printable coupons which you can download and take in-store to also save on the high street.

Be sure to sign up for their newsletter like I did! This is the best way to get their best deals sent straight to your inbox every week. Make sure you don’t miss the next big sale by signing up today!

Ok Charlie, the next time you want adspace, you're going to have to pay up.

How Far We've Come: CBC Digital Then and Now
Published by Toronto Mike on June 20, 2012 @ 11:54 in Technology

CBC Digital Then and NowMy buddy Retrontario shared an old ad for http://www.cbc.ca that aired in 1995. It's actually pretty progressive for 1995, the first year I opened a web browser.

It's amazing how far we've come since then. CBC News has a great app I use daily on my Android device. It enables me to listen to the most recent World at Six newscast (28:30) and then the most recent World Report news update (10:00) during my walk or bike ride. I love this app.

Think back to that wide-eyed amazement you felt when you first cracked open Netscape and hit up a web site. Now, think about how the ubiquitous the web is on your smart phone and how you use it 17 years later.

We've come a long way.

hHead - Happy
Published by Toronto Mike on June 20, 2012 @ 11:18 in Weekly MP3s

MP3Week three of the long anticipated return of the weekly mp3 and I actually remembered to post an mp3 this Wednesday.

You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it before playing.

play hHead - Happy
I have the New Music Search 1993 compilation from CFNY, and this track appeared on that disc. It's a cool tune, but hHead is best known now for having featured Brendan Canning who would go on to form Broken Social Scene with Kevin Drew.

I'm pretty sure this tune won the New Music Search that year, but I could be mistaken. hHead had formidable competition from Lowest of the Low and Hayden.

The Microsoft Surface Tablet is Coming
Published by Toronto Mike on June 19, 2012 @ 10:19 in Tablet Talent Show, Technology

The Microsoft Surface TabletI've tried a few different tablets over the past few years. In fact, there's one next to my bed right now. I rarely touch it.

It seems I like using a laptop. I've got a laptop next to the bed and I just grab it and do my surfing or writing or viewing or whatever. I never reach for the tablet, always preferring the laptop.

When I just want to read something quick, I'll grab my Samsung Galaxy S II phone. That's my "tablet" of choice.

Microsoft is ready to enter the tablet game, having unveiled their Surface tablet. It's a nice looking piece of hardware with a couple of nifty features the iPad doesn't have. I think the Touch and Type covers are pretty cool.

Hopefully Microsoft has learned a lot from their disastrous Zune experience. I doubt the folks at Apple are shaking in their boots, but the Surface is interesting enough that you can't immediately dismiss it. I mean, it even has a built-in kickstand!

I'll stick with my laptop and Android phone, but if you're looking for an iPad that runs Windows, you'll definitely want to check out the Surface.

Van Halen's Brown M&Ms
Published by Toronto Mike on June 18, 2012 @ 15:19 in Music

Van Halen's Brown M&MsI had tickets to see Radiohead at Downsview Park Saturday. I was preparing to leave when I saw the news on Twitter. The stage had collapsed, leaving a member of the crew dead, and the concert was cancelled.

That was a horrible accident, and it reminded me of Van Halen's brown M&Ms. Snopes explains it nicely.

By far the most notorious of these whimsical requests is the legend that Van Halen's standard concert contract called for them to be provided with a bowl of M&Ms backstage, but with provision that all the brown candies must be removed. The presence of even a single brown M&M in that bowl, rumor had it, was sufficient legal cause for Van Halen to peremptorily cancel a scheduled appearance without advance notice (and usually an excuse for them to go on a destructive rampage as well).

The legendary "no brown M&Ms" contract clause was indeed real, but the purported motivation for it was not. The M&Ms provision was included in Van Halen's contracts not as an act of caprice, but because it served a practical purpose: to provide an easy way of determining whether the technical specifications of the contract had been thoroughly read (and complied with). As Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth explained in his autobiography:

Van Halen was the first band to take huge productions into tertiary, third-level markets. We'd pull up with nine eighteen-wheeler trucks, full of gear, where the standard was three trucks, max. And there were many, many technical errors — whether it was the girders couldn't support the weight, or the flooring would sink in, or the doors weren't big enough to move the gear through.

The contract rider read like a version of the Chinese Yellow Pages because there was so much equipment, and so many human beings to make it function. So just as a little test, in the technical aspect of the rider, it would say "Article 148: There will be fifteen amperage voltage sockets at twenty-foot spaces, evenly, providing nineteen amperes . . ." This kind of thing. And article number 126, in the middle of nowhere, was: "There will be no brown M&M's in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation."

So, when I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl . . . well, line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you're going to arrive at a technical error. They didn't read the contract. Guaranteed you'd run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show. Something like, literally, life-threatening.

Pretty smart. And to think we all just thought Van Halen were just prima donna assholes.

The Weather Finals
Published by Toronto Mike on June 18, 2012 @ 11:09 in Sports

The Weather FinalsSo we have the Heat vs. the Thunder in the NBA Finals. I've thoroughly enjoyed the first three games, even though the team I'm heavily rooting for is down 2-1 in the series.

The other day, I tweeted that anyone outside of Miami who cheers for the Heat lacks a soul. That might be a little extreme, but I don't see how you could back Miami in this series unless you were a long-time Heat fan or somehow connected to the city or one of the players.

Ok, there's one other city that's excused for supporting the Heat. That would be Seattle, a city still in mourning. I understand NBA Finals Betting from that city is pretty heavy on the Heat.

But for the rest of us, the choice is clear. Go Thunder!

OKCThunder

Fun fact: Seven years ago, I posted my five favourite NBA teams. Appearing at number five on that list was none other than the Seattle Supersonics. I'm thinking it had something to do with the Reign Man, Shawn Kemp, and Xavier McDaniel's cameo in Singles.

Father's Day Open Mike
Published by Toronto Mike on June 15, 2012 @ 08:42 in Open Mike

Open MikeSunday is Father's Day. I can't wait to see what crap the kids made me this year!

Print

You know the drill, discuss anything you want in this space. And if you have a question, I'll drop by throughout the day to answer you.

And Bob Loblaw... be nice!

Ireland Wins Euro Cup 2012
Published by Toronto Mike on June 14, 2012 @ 22:33 in Sports

Ireland Wins Euro Cup 2012Down by 4 goals and about to be the first team eliminated from the Euro, Irish fans showed their unwavering support.

The Fields of Athenry FTW!

We're Suckers in This Country
Published by Toronto Mike on June 14, 2012 @ 09:22 in My 2 Cents

carThe CBC headline didn't surprise me in the least, but it still pissed me off. "Canadians pay more than Americans for Canadian-made vehicles."

CBC News looked at the relative prices of 24 models made in Ontario by the five big automakers — Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota — and found that in 18 cases, the models cost thousands of dollars more to buy in Ontario than in the United States, including Hawaii.

Based on the manufacturer's suggested retail prices, the two-wheel drive Toyota Rav4 would cost $22,650 in Honolulu, with an additional charge for freight and pre-delivery inspection (PDI) of $810.

A resident in Woodstock, Ont., however, would pay $24,865, plus a freight and PDI charge of $1,465, for the same model, despite the Rav4 being manufactured in Woodstock.

Likewise, a resident in Alliston, Ont., where the Acura MDX is made, would pay $52,690 based on the suggested retail price, while in the U.S. the vehicle's suggested price is $43,030.

That's right, a car made in Alliston, Ontario is almost $10,000 more here than in Buffalo, New York. As far as I'm concerned, there's only one reason they can get away with that.

We're suckers in this country and we'll pay it.

Henry Hill, Dead at 69
Published by Toronto Mike on June 13, 2012 @ 10:13 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumHenry Hill was 69. Martin Scorsese’s 1990 movie “Goodfellas,” starring Ray Liotta as Hill, chronicled his blood-spattered rise in the underworld, the 1978 Lufthansa heist at Kennedy Airport, his descent into the world of drugs and his eventual arrest.

Hill testified against his former associates to avoid a possible execution by his crew or going to prison for his crimes before entering the U.S. Marshals' Witness Protection Program in 1980. His testimony led to 50 convictions.

When I last assembled a list of my favourite movies of all-time, about six years ago, Goodfellas was #2.

Humble and Fred Mornings on Kingston's K-Rock 105.7
Published by Toronto Mike on June 12, 2012 @ 13:41 in Humble and Fred, Radio

humble and fredStarting Tuesday, Humble and Fred are the new morning show on K-Rock 105.7, a Rogers-owned station out of Kingston, Ontario.

I just got off the phone with Humble and Fred. They assure me this won't effect their daily podcast. They'll broadcast live in Kingston from 6am-9am, then record their podcast in Etobicoke as they have every weekday since October.

As Humble joked earlier, College Pro Painters wouldn't hire them, so they'll be K-Rock's morning show for the summer. If your radio doesn't pick up K-Rock, you can tune into the show here.

Humble and Fred Mobile

A ROM Exhibit in 2035
Published by Toronto Mike on June 12, 2012 @ 12:49 in Humour, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

A ROM Exhibit in 2035Titled as found on Reddit.

bag

The pic is a spoof of some new Apple thing announced at the WWDC. You fanboys can have your closed systems... I doubt I'll ever buy another Apple product in my lifetime.

Then There Were Two: Toronto and St. Louis
Published by Toronto Mike on June 12, 2012 @ 10:43 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto and St. LouisThe Los Angeles Kings are Stanley Cup champions for the first time, and then there were two. 12 teams started the 1967-68 NHL season, nine have won the Stanley Cup since, one has folded and for two, the drought continues.

For the record, here are the 12 teams from 1967-68:

  • Montreal Canadiens - Last won in 1993
  • New York Rangers - Last won in 1994
  • Boston Bruins - Last won in 2011
  • Chicago Black Hawks (Now Blackhawks) - Last won in 2010
  • Toronto Maple Leafs - Still waiting...
  • Detroit Red Wings - Last won in 2008
  • Philadelphia Flyers - Last won in 1975
  • Los Angeles Kings - Won in 2012
  • St. Louis Blues - Still waiting...
  • Minnesota North Stars (Now Dallas Stars) - Won in 1999
  • Pittsburgh Penguins - Last won in 2009
  • Oakland Seals (Long Defunct)

Damn, it was depressing writing that list. The Blues finished last season with 109 points, good for 2nd overall. Do you think they're a little closer to the cup than our Leafs? The Leafs had 80 points, good for 13th.... IN THE CONFERENCE.

Congratulations Kings fans... I know how you feel. Back 2 Back in '92/'93!

Another World

Django Unchained Official Movie Trailer
Published by Toronto Mike on June 11, 2012 @ 14:04 in Movies

Django UnchainedNo, I haven't seen The Avengers yet, but I am looking forward to Django Unchained this winter.

Is The Avengers worth seeing?

Be My Proxy for Oxfam Trailwalker Canada 2012
Published by Toronto Mike on June 11, 2012 @ 10:58 in Miscellaneous

Oxfam Trailwalker Canada 2012My July is going to be messy. I'm literally on call to go to Europe, so I can't commit to participate in the Oxfam Trailwalker. In the Oxfam Trailwalker, teams of 4 hike 100 km in 48 hours, from Wasaga Beach to Midland.

I think it sounds amazing. Each team commits to raise $2,500, but that's where I'd help. I'll chip in a little of my own coin, and promote your team here in the hopes my generous readers will help out as well. Proceeds raised directly benefit people in poverty through Oxfam’s humanitarian aid and development assistance.

Oxfam Trailwalker Canada is taking place on the weekend of July 13th to 15th, 2012 on the Ganaraska Hiking Trail starting at Wasaga Beach, Ontario and ending in the City of Midland. If you can commit your team of four to participate in my place, let me know.

Who's up for the challenge?

Bingo!
Published by Toronto Mike on June 11, 2012 @ 10:48 in Guest Blog Entries

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to TorontoMike.com. I received the following entry from Anthony.

Bingo is a popular game in Canada. This should come as no surprise, since Canada is a former British colony. While Britons prefer 90 ball bingo games, Canadians prefer the traditional American 75 ball version of the game. There are bingo halls in all of the provinces, and in the far north, there are even radio bingo games played by those in remote and inaccessible locations. Recently, bingo generated a bit of controversy in the province of Ontario.

For 55 years, drive-in bingo games have been a local tradition at the Carp Fairgrounds in Ottawa. Crows of locals gather every Wednesday for the drive in charity bingo games. In Canada, most bingo games are run by various charities. The games are one of the main attractions for Carp, a small community just 10 minutes west of Kanata. Organizer Joyce Trafford said “It’s been a tradition in Carp for 55 years. It’s a family night out.” Unfortunately, an anonymous complaint from a local bluenose to the Alcohol and Gambling Commission of Ontario may put an end to the games. The complaint followed a news story that featured a photo of a child playing bingo. After an investigation by the commission, the province asked the city of Ottawa to remind the game’s organizers of the prohibition against underage gambling.

I haven't played Bingo since I was a kid, but as I recall, there was nothing quite as thrilling as yelling "Bingo!" first.

Boxing is Dead
Published by Toronto Mike on June 10, 2012 @ 11:03 in Sports

boxingI had no interest in last night's Manny Pacquiao bout against Timothy Bradley. I'm on a personal boycott of Pacman fights until we get a mega-bout between Pacquaio and Floyd Mayweather. Although I didn't watch, the verdict is a blunt reminder why boxing is a fool's game.

By all accounts, Pacquiao won. Every analyst had it that way, the footage I just saw on TSN sure had it looking that way, and these metrics speak volumes:

pacman1

pacman2

Judge Jerry Roth (115-113) awarded the fight to Pacquiao while CJ Ross (115-113) and Duane Ford (115-113) gave it to Bradley, giving the American the WBO welterweight title and ending a run of 15 consecutive wins by the Filipino.

That's it for me. It seems the only judges in the world who think Bradley won this fight are CJ Ross and Duane Ford, and that's enough to rig a match. Boxing is dead to me.

Plastic Bag Open Mike
Published by Toronto Mike on June 8, 2012 @ 09:10 in Open Mike

Open MikeSports fans will be happy with this weekend. Here's hoping the Celtics beat the Heat and Ireland wins Euro 2012.

Feel free to discuss the Euro, NBA, NHL or skip right over to the Toronto council's decision to ban plastic bags from stores in 2013. I happen to like the ban... if you forget your reusable cloth bags, buy a paper one or two. It just requires a little discipline, and it's environmentally responsible. Hawaii, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles have made the same progressive, enlightened decision.

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You know the drill, discuss anything you want in this space. And if you have a question, I'll drop by throughout the day to answer you.

Sonic Youth - Kool Thing
Published by Toronto Mike on June 7, 2012 @ 13:16 in Weekly MP3s

MP3Week two of the long anticipated return of the weekly mp3 and I already missed the day. Let's pretend I posted this on Wednesday, shall we?

You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it before playing.

play Sonic Youth - Kool Thing
I can't believe "Kool Thing" is 22 years old. In 1990, I was a big Public Enemy fan, so the appearance of Chuck D on this track made a very good thing even better.

Sonic Youth have several great singles tucked away in their extensive catalogue, but "Kool Thing" remains my favourite.

Stanley Cup Final Sweeps
Published by Toronto Mike on June 6, 2012 @ 20:06 in Sports

Stanley Cup Final SweepsThere have been 20 sweeps in Stanley Cup final history, by nine different teams.

Tonight, the Los Angeles Kings try to become the tenth team to do it, while winning their first Stanley Cup. Here are the previous 20 times it's been done since the 7-game format came into effect in 1938-39.

YEAR WINNING TEAM LOSING TEAM
1998Detroit Red WingsWashington Capitals
1997Detroit Red WingsPhiladelphia Flyers
1996Colorado AvalancheFlorida Panthers
1995New Jersey DevilsDetroit Red Wings
1992Pittsburgh PenguinsChicago Blackhawks
1988Edmonton OilersBoston Bruins
1983New York IslandersEdmonton Oilers
1982New York IslandersVancouver Canucks
1977Montreal CanadiensBoston Bruins
1976Montreal CanadiensPhiladelphia Flyers
1970Boston BruinsSt. Louis Blues
1969Montreal CanadiensSt. Louis Blues
1968Montreal CanadiensSt. Louis Blues
1960Montreal CanadiensToronto Maple Leafs
1952Detroit Red WingsMontreal Canadiens
1949Toronto Maple LeafsDetroit Red Wings
1948Toronto Maple LeafsDetroit Red Wings
1944Montreal CanadiensChicago Black Hawks
1943Detroit Red WingsBoston Bruins
1941Boston BruinsDetroit Red Wings

Win it for Marcel, Kings.

marcel

Another Emissions Test Pass
Published by Toronto Mike on June 6, 2012 @ 14:03 in Miscellaneous

Emissions Test PassMy birthday is this month, so it was time to renew my vehicle's license plate. I drive a 1999 car, so it was also time for a vehicle emissions inspection report.

I've been driving this car for 13 years, putting 250,000 kms on it, but it passed the emissions inspection with ease.

If my shitbox is passing with ease, who's failing? If you've ever failed the Drive Clean emissions test, I need to hear from you in the comments.

Andy Gray's @si_vault Toronto Picture Dump
Published by Toronto Mike on June 6, 2012 @ 13:19 in Toronto Argos, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus, Toronto Raptors, Twitter

Andy Gray's @si_vault Toronto Picture DumpAndy Gray from Sports Illustrated is tweeting Toronto-centric pictures this afternoon.

I'm a Toronto-centric kind of guy who loves sports (and gets Sports Illustrated every week), so I'm collecting them all here along with Andy's accompanying tweets and some commentary from yours truly.


jays

AG: Jack Morris, Dave Stewart, Todd Stottlemyre & Juan Guzman pose at a 1993 SI photo shoot

TM: Damn, I miss these days. I once stalked Stottlemyre at the CNE to get his autograph.


argos

AG: Toronto Argonauts owners Bruce McNall, Wayne Gretzky and John Candy attend a 1991 game

TM: The kids and I just watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles. A few months ago, we watched Uncle Buck. I miss John Candy.


vince

AG: SI photographer John McDonough took this great shot of Vince Carter

TM: Nope, I'm still not ready to make nice.


felix

AG: Felix Potvin and his cat pose for a 1982 (sic) SI photo shoot

TM: Of course, Andy meant 1992. Speaking of stuff I miss, damn I miss Felix Potvin and this Leafs team that made the Conference finals twice in the early 90s.


huskies

AG: How amazing was this Toronto promotion (from 1946 Knicks-Huskies game)?

TM: I hate the name "Raptors" and wish we had gone with "Huskies".


wells

AG: Get your cigar, recline your La-Z-Boy. We're going with Toronto photos all day. David Wells is excited!

TM: I saw STP and RHCP with David Wells... sorta.


domi

AG: Tie Domi and Lyle Odelein get acquainted during a 2000 game between the Leafs and Devils

TM: My old pal.


marcus

AG: Marcus Camby poses for a photo at Raptors Media Day in 1997

TM: I can't believe Camby is still playing. He's old... he's my age!


danny

AG: Blue Jays shortstop Danny Ainge in action

TM: NBA star Danny Ainge started at third for the Jays back in 1981. Here are the other starting third basemen in Blue Jays history.


theismann

AG: Joe Theismann in action with the Toronto Argonauts during the 1972 season

TM: This is the first photo, outside the Huskies ticket, that doesn't bring back memories.


cousins

AG: Cousins Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter in 1999

TM: T-Mac never seemed happy.


Gruber

AG: Kelly Gruber celebrates Toronto Day at the SI Vault (for @GrubersMullet and Gruber lovers everywhere)

TM: Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly.


robbie

AG: Roberto Alomar lays out for a catch during the 1992 World Series against Atlanta

TM: The greatest Blue Jay of all-time.


fans

AG: Toronto fans celebrate after the Blue Jays won the 1992 World Series

TM: I'll never forget.


barfield

AG: Jesse Barfield and his son let their Soul Glo before a 1996 (sic) Blue Jays-Orioles game

TM: I loved Barfield, and I love this picture. There's my Exhibition Stadium in what is likely 1986. Barfield had a cannon for an arm.


wendel

AG: Wendel Clark scores a goal during a 1993 Caps-Leafs game

TM: All heart.


tim

AG: Canadian legend Tim Horton played 18 seasons for the Maple Leafs in the '50s and '60s

TM: That's right, kids. Tim Horton was a Leaf. In fact, he was one of the greatest Leafs.


keon

AG: Dave Keon and Pierre Pilote chase down a loose puck during a 1967 Maple Leafs-Blackhawks game

TM: I missed Keon's entire career, but I caught his return.


roger

AG: Brian McNamee stretches out Roger Clemens before a 1997 Toronto-Baltimore game

TM: Roger Clemens, part of baseball's lost generation.


bosh

AG: How did Chris Bosh let SI take this photo of him?

TM: Bosh was more Vince than we realized. Go Celtics!


joe

AG: SI's Chuck Solomon with a great aerial shot of Joe Carter scoring the winning run of the 1993 World Series

TM: Joe touched 'em all, and it's been all downhill since then.


robbie2

AG: Toronto Day is over as I have to meet Robbie Alomar at his Skydome hotel room for dinner. Hope you enjoyed

TM: Fess up, Toronto. How many of you slept with Roberto Alomar?

Ray Bradbury, Dead at 91
Published by Toronto Mike on June 6, 2012 @ 11:18 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumRay Bradbury was 91. He was the author of more than 27 novels and story collections, most famously “The Martian Chronicles,” “Fahrenheit 451,” “Dandelion Wine” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes”, and more than 600 short stories.

The Wire: The Musical
Published by Toronto Mike on June 5, 2012 @ 11:57 in The Wire

the wireThe Greatest Show On Television, Ever™ made its debut on HBO ten years ago, and they're finally giving us fans what we've been asking for.

A musical!


Active Teams That Haven't Played in a Stanley Cup Final Since 1967
Published by Toronto Mike on June 5, 2012 @ 11:19 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Stanley CupWhen the Kings finish off the Devils, yet another franchise will win the Stanley Cup In my lifetime. You probably know where I'm going with this...

My Leafs haven't won the cup since 1967, but they also haven't played in a Stanley Cup final since 1967. So let's look at the list of teams that have played in a Stanley Cup final in the years since 1967. It's quite the long and depressing list.

  • Ottawa Senators
  • Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Calgary Flames
  • New Jersey Devils
  • Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Dallas Stars
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • Washington Capitals
  • Philadelphia Flyers
  • Florida Panthers
  • New York Rangers
  • Vancouver Canucks
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Minnesota North Stars
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Boston Bruins
  • New York Islanders
  • St. Louis Blues

Here are the active teams that haven't played in a Stanley Cup final since 1967.

  • Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Winnipeg Jets (formerly Atlanta Thrashers)
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Nashville Predators
  • Phoenix Coyotes (formerly Winnipeg Jets)
  • San Jose Sharks

If we move the Leafs aside for a moment, do you notice anything unique about the other six teams above? They're all pretty new franchises. The San Jose Sharks are the oldest team in the books having played their first season in 1991-92. If you're looking for the worst franchise drought outside of Toronto, you can look at the Coyotes who played their first NHL season in 1979-80. Still, this isn't quite the same thing and doesn't come close to our stretch of futility.

I'd like to watch my team play in a Stanley Cup final before I die. It might be nice to win one, too. Is that too much to ask?

Never a Dull Moment: A Week in Toronto News
Published by Toronto Mike on June 4, 2012 @ 11:57 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

A Week in Toronto NewsToronto is a big city, but this past week we've had more than our fair share of news that transcends our borders. Many of us are wondering "what's next?".

Luka Rocco Magnotta
The MSM learned the name Luka Rocca Magnotta on May 30 when the Torontonian was identified as the suspect in the murder of Lin Jun. Yes, the murder took place in Montreal, but this story had a strong Toronto slant because he was born and raised here. I wrote about him, and I'm pretty sure he was reading and left a comment. More on that in the comments here. I'm glad he's now behind bars in Berlin.

Union Station Flooding
Nobody got hurt, but it was pretty big news in this city and the pictures were popular outside Canada. Here are some Photoshopped images from June 1.

Janitor Tries to Blow Up St. Joseph’s College
This story got lost in the shuffle, but it's pretty chilling. A janitor at St. Joseph’s College, an all-girls Catholic high school, cut the school's main gas line with the intention of blowing it up. Thankfully, his plan failed.

Eaton Centre Shooting
On Saturday, an argument made its way to a very busy food court in the Eaton Centre where Ahmed Hassan was gunned down. Seven others ended up in hospital as a result of this altercation. The suspect has turned himself in and the Eaton Centre is open for business once more.

I think that covers the more sensational stories from this city over the past week. It's enough to make me long for the days when we had nothing better to discuss than what to call Gay-Straight Alliances in schools.

Richard Dawson, Dead at 79
Published by Toronto Mike on June 3, 2012 @ 11:46 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumRichard Dawson was 79. He was the wisecracking British entertainer who was among the schemers in the 1960s sitcom Hogan's Heroes and a decade later began kissing thousands of female contestants as host of the game show Family Feud.


Union Station Flood Photoshop Fun
Published by Toronto Mike on June 2, 2012 @ 11:22 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

Union Station Flood Photoshop FunPeople sure had fun with the images of a flooded Union Station yesterday. Here are a few of the more popular pix that are floating around.

sharks

koolaid

loch

ford

titanic

More Money Than Brains
Published by Toronto Mike on June 1, 2012 @ 18:47 in Humour

moneyThis news report from Dallas amuses me.

A woman plans to buy $100,000 worth of the latest iPhone, the day they go on sale. Her plan is to sell them on eBay and make a tidy profit. She shows up to the store 15 minutes before it opens, ready to buy her place in line...

Some people have more money than brains.

I Can't Believe It's Already June Open Mike
Published by Toronto Mike on June 1, 2012 @ 10:32 in Open Mike

Open MikeIt's been a bizarre week of news. Talk about it, or anything you want. The frivolous is more than welcome.

In fact, the frivolous is what we need. Bring on the frivolous!

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If you have a question, I'll drop by throughout the day to answer.

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