September 2012 Archives

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A Goal That Everyone Remembers Open Mike

Open MikeWake me up.... when September ennnnddddsssss....

I want to know what you're thinking. Tell me what's on your mind. I'm off to see the mechanic, which isn't nearly as fun as seeing the dentist, but I'll be in and out throughout the day.

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Toronto Boom Town (1951)

Toronto Boom TownToronto Boom Town is a film by Leslie McFarlane for the National Film Board of Canada. It studies the contrast between the sedate Toronto of the turn of the century and the thriving, expanding metropolis of 1951.


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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 4: Courage

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 4Here's the 4th episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, it gets awfully emotional, as Toronto Mike reveals something personal and the gang talks about movies that make them cry. This episode is exactly 25:43.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

As always, I'm eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at http://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Déjà Vu with Apathy

SighEight years ago, I was already writing pleas to Bettman and Goodenow to get a deal done so I could enjoy NHL hockey again. I really, really cared, and my heart broke when the entire season was cancelled.

Eight years later, there's that same multi-billion dollar pie being fought over by multi-millionaires, and the big losers remain us suckers who tune in and support our favourite NHL teams. Since we lost the season in 2004/2005, I've watched my Leafs miss the playoffs each and every year. I can do that again. I'm actually getting pretty good at it.

It's déjà vu all over again, but this time with a steaming pile of apathy. This time, it's different.

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Boot Hill Automotive Resurrection

Boot Hill Automotive ResurrectionI just wanted to give a quick shout out to my buddy Blaine Schmidt who owns Boot Hill Automotive Resurrection in Erin, Ontario.

Freddie P introduced me to Blaine many years ago, and we've been pals ever since. He's not only a great guy, but he won a Grey Cup with the Argos back in 1991.

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If you have a classic muscle car you'd like to bring back to life, he's the car restoration guru. I'm thinking about having him take a run at my '99 Mazda Protege to see what he can do with it.

Here's the kind of fun they're having at Boot Hill Auto.


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Andy Williams, Dead at 84

In MemoriumAndy Williams was 84. He was an Emmy-winning TV host and popular singer best known for his rendition of "Moon River."


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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 3: Freak Turbulence

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 3Here's the 3rd episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, Rosie and I chat about my Irish cardigan sweater, Sam the Record Man and television shows we're digging. This episode is exactly 27:28.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

As always, I'm very eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Norm MacDonald on The Summit Series

Henderson Scores For CanadaThe 40th anniversary of "The Goal" is mere days away, and Norm MacDonald has tweeted his memories of the 1972 Summit Series. It's an amazing read.

Speaking of, it was said in 1972 that Canada was the best in two things: Hockey and Wheat.

The Soviets always won The Gold Medal, though, and Canada never did. You see, the Soviet Amatuers, all servicemen, were very good.

The Captains and Majors and Colonels found time in their busy schedule to practice their forechecking.

In 1972, they decided it was time to play the real Boys of Winter, and The Summit Series started.

Game one would be played in the House Richard built, The Montreal Forum. The Canadians were confident? No, they were cocky.

No less a broadcaster than the mighty Foster Hewitt, the man who first said "He shoots. He scores", is lured out of retirement to voice it.

Hewitt has as much trouble with the French-Canadian names as he does the Russians.His mangling of Cornouyer's name especially vexing to me.

I'd never seen a game from the Forum not called by Danny Galivan and Dick Irvine, but this was history and so was Foster Hewitt.

It is constructed as an 8 game series, with no overtime, and my friends and I are outraged. What if it's tied. That's not hockey!

The men on the ice in pregame looked odd, buzzcuts, workmanlike, without style, odd. I was only 8.I didn't know what CCCP meant.Still don't.

The puck is dropped and the real Cold War begins. NOW!!!!

3 hours later, eyes stinging, cheeks wet, nose running. Inconsolable. 7-3? Impossible. As stunned as Dryden must be, I thought.

In Toronto, things go well, the universe unfolding as it should as our Prime Minister was fond of saying. Canada wins 4-1. Series is even.

And after Maple Leaf Gardens, it is on to Winnipeg and my worst fear comes true. Hockey Anathema: A Tie. Series remains even.

We are all very disappointed. I read my hockey cards constantly and tell my friends not to worry. But I am worried. Very worried.

In Vancouver now, for the final game before we go to Russia. The crowd is booing my heroes. I can't believe it. Some are cheering the enemy.

Team Canada, now stripped of home-ice advantage by its very fans, loses another. Phil Esposito, the Boston Scoring Machine, lashes out.

And now my heroes land in Russia. None have ever been there.

They are put up in a decidedly shabby hotel and are surrounded at all times by an intimidating KGB presence. It shows the next day. We lose.

The old folks start saying The Russians are a better team, play a better style of hockey, old time, never unmoving. The kids disagree.

But scores don't lie. The Red Army leads 3 games to 1, with a loathed tie, and there are 3 to play on Commie Ice with Commie Refs.

Their names are household now in Canada. Kharlamov, Yakushev, Tretiak. Game 6 and we are very scared.

And then, in game 6, the old time hockey faces the new style when assistant coach John Ferguson, the first goon ever has a word with Bobby.

Bobby Clark, the toughest great player of all time, is told by Ferguson that Kharlamov's ankle looks sore and might need some attention.

Clarke, like a surgeon, slices both tendons and sends Kharlamov hobbling out of the game and back to military service.Who's intimidated now?

Canada prevails in a low-scoring game by this Series' standards with a 3-2 victory. The winning goal is scored by Paul Henderson.

The Red Army would play The Flyers years later, and they would remember Bobby Clarke. Bobby would remember Moscow, and Flin Flon, too.

We go to Game 7, and hopes of winning the series, are pretty much gone now. But we need this win or we have to start a Game 8 as losers. My friends and I agree. If we lose tonight, then Game 8 will see the ice of Moscow stained red with Russian blood.

We win 4-3. The winning score belongs to Paul Henderson. And now there is hope. The biggest fear for me is the fear that I had had since the start. A tie.

And now worse news comes. The Soviets, who had gone to great pains to make this thing an 8-game series with no overtimes, make a statement. The Soviets say there will be no tie after all. If this game ends in a tie they will claim victory, as they have scored more series' goals.

Oh, well, I'm sure it won't come to that.

Game 8. There will be no school in Canada today. A history class? Ridiculous. History instead. But there is school, I'm told in the morning. You can watch at home or at school. School with the older kids from grades 5, 6, and 7.

The gymnasium is packed. Blue mats are everywhere. The teachers are like children today. "We're gonna win", I say to anyone, "You'll see. Cournoyer will score the winner."

"Helluva time for Bobby Orr to be hurt", the Latin teacher says. "Goddamned Commies", says Mr. Rose.

The puck is dropped and all is silent. The entire first period is very tough to watch. But we get through it. Together. In the first intermission the gymnasium is alive with raw nerve. The young all say we will win for sure. The old men don't.

Mr. McCarthy has a new explanation for our upcoming national loss. It's the WHA's the real culprit. Team Canada with no Bobby Hull. Harrumph. The second period is like taking a punch in the gut from the school bully.

I go outside so the big kids won't see my tears. Mr. McCarthy, smoking a cigarette. "Don't worry kid, things don't work out a lot in life."

The unimaginable is 20 minutes away now, the gym is grim. But Esposito scores and we all go nuts and we're running in the gym now. Sitting cannot contain this.

And then the greatest moment in my life.

Yvan Cournoyer, my hero, scores and ties the game. Or does he. My elation pushes me into the arms of an old lady that taught me geography. Everyone is everywhere, cheering. And I replay the goal in my mind. And I see that something is missing. The red light.

And I see the little M climbing over the boards and into the crowd, we are all surrounding the TV on wheels now, Eagleson is there. The score counts. The game is tied.

THE SERIES IS TIED!!!!!!!! And still a half a frame to play. But no extra time.

That was the deal.

And now talk turns to the tie scenario. "A tie's a tie" says Jimmy, "and it don't matter what the Russians say." Maybe, they'll play overtime because nobody expected this, I say. I had expected it in the way of dread.

I'd rather The Russians score than it end up a tie, I said very quietly and to myself, and then felt very bad about having said it.

Two minutes left. The old man I don't know says we'll win the rematch and this time we'll have Hull, and Sanderson too. Trudeau will see to it. There's only a minute or so left now, but Cournoyer was on the ice and an small boy's hope has no bounds.

We're all on our feet now and Team Canada has it in enemy territory. Cournoyer has it. "Cournoyer is my guy" I yell. Everyone knows this.

Cold wars don't end in ties.

Cournoyer blasts a shot. Henderson has a chance to redirect it but falls and crashes into the boards behind the net. The puck gets past 2 Russian defensemen and finds the stick of Espo, who swats it toward the net. And now from nowhere is Henderson.

It's just Henderson and Tretiak now. Everyone else alive watches. I feel like I'm choking. Henderson, so close to the Russian netminder, shoots and is denied, but then the second. Henderson scores with 38 seconds left. The nation is in unbelief.

The old come to their feet. I go to the air. I'm still there.

I've always liked Norm MacDonald. I even liked Dirty Work.

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Canadian Provinces That Claim Feist As Their Own

Canadian Cities Who Claim Feist As Their OwnFeist won the $30,000 Polaris Music Prize last night for her fourth album Metals. Many Canadian provinces claim Feist as their own.

  • Feist was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia
  • Shortly after she was born, Feist moved to Regina, Saskatchewan
  • As a child, she then moved to Calgary, Alberta
  • In 1996, Feist moved to Toronto, Ontario

That's four different provinces that can claim Feist as their own.

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Consumers Distributing Lives On As Argos

Consumer's Distributing Lives On As ArgosI enjoy the comments left on my Consumers Distributing entry. There are comments from those who fondly remember the old Canadian retail chain, some who worked there and others who aren't at all surprised Consumers Distributing didn't make it.

Last week in Dublin, I needed an adaptor for my power bar. The one that got me through trips to Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam wasn't going to work in Ireland, so I ended up at a store called Argos.

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Argos is exactly like Consumers Distributing. You order out of a catalogue and pick it up at a desk with a conveyor belt, just like I remember it. €5.99 later, I had my adaptor.

Ok, Argos wasn't exactly like Consumers Distributing. The item I wanted was in stock.

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Sam Sniderman, Dead at 92

In MemoriumSam Sniderman was 92. He was the founder of Sam the Record Man. I spent many hours perusing the floors of his flagship store at 347 Yonge Street.


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Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi

Education for Death: The Making of the NaziEducation for Death: The Making of the Nazi is a propaganda film by Walt Disney released on January 15, 1943. It's one of 32 short propaganda films Disney produced for the US government at $4,500 each.

It's also in the pubic domain.

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Pearl Jam's Black - Isolated Vocals

Pearl Jam's Black - Isolated VocalsI love this.

Feel free to tell me my favourite band sucks.

Damn, that's good...

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Summer's Ending Open Mike

Open MikeIt's September 21, and this weather I've come back to leaves much to be desired. Where's that warm sun I left?

I'm sure you have a lot on your mind. So if you do, dump it here. And if you don't, lurk away!

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The Rolling Hills of Pearson

The Rolling Hills of PearsonI don't own an iPad, nor an iPhone, so I'm not as interested nor up-to-date with the Apple iOS 6 news. But I am an observer of technology trends and it's been impossible to surf the web without hearing about the Apple iOS 6 Maps controversy.

Apparently, Apple has replaced the Google Maps with their own, and the results have been unfortunate. Here's a nice collection of the mistakes found. In a nutshell, Google Maps is better and those who upgraded to iOS 6 want their Google Maps back.

Here's my personal favourite image from Apple iOS 6 Maps. These are the rolling hills of Toronto Pearson International Airport.

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As a Texan Visiting Toronto

As a Texan Visiting TorontoIn 2012, I've spent a good chunk of time in Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris and Dublin. I visit these cities as a tourist, doing some homework, marking up a map and hitting the streets with my camera. I don't visit Toronto this way, as I've always lived here.

I often wonder what it would be like to see Toronto as a tourist sees Toronto. On Reddit today, there's an interesting post from a Texan who visited Toronto and fell in love with this city.

Forgive me for ranting but...I have been all over the planet and after spending a few weeks here.... Toronto is hands down my favorite city of all time.

Living in Houston provides me with extremely minimal public transportation, and I drive 100 miles a day between my home and job. If you take public transportation in Houston, you are most likely homeless, or at least impoverished. The TTC may have its downsides, but it is phenomenal compared to systems in NYC, Sydney, San Francisco, etc. The subway may look small in scale compared to these other cities, but the quality of service is simply on another level. I can step outside and walk 10 feet to the Ossington/Davenport bus stop, and be all the way across the city on the subway in 15-20 minutes.

The level of cultural diversity in Toronto is also extremely pleasant to me. Korea town and China town seem so much more comfortably integrated into the cityscape. We have a large section of Houston which is considered "China town", but it simply isn't integrated at all within the city, and is quite a distance away from downtown. Also, we certainly don't get to enjoy the scent of stinky tofu wafting through the air for miles around.

The parks and green areas proliferate within Toronto, and impress on me that Canadians do truly value the impact that such places have on everyday life. Spent quite some time in Christie Pitts and High Park just drinking with friends, and enjoying some of your fine beverages (LOVE that nasty Faxe 10, Holstein Maibock, Holstein Festbok, ciders,and anything Molson). Truly wish the US would switch to the Canadian style of measuring alcohol content.

Speaking of beer, didn't matter if the prices were on average triple what I pay in Texas, the Victory Cafe in the Annex had one of the finest selections of beer I've come across. The beers on tap by Great Lakes brewery and Flying Monkey had me coming back daily. The Highlander Scottish Pale Ale was killer as well. However, for food, I was on a hunt to find the best poutine in the city.

Two poutine places stuck out to me as ever-dependable. "Come and Get It" and Smoke's. Smoke's seemed like it was going to be similar to a typical chain restaurant in the states, but the quality of their Country Style poutine (bacon, chicken, cheese curds, mushrooms, carmelized onions, gravy) blew me away. I was going back to Bloor St for that poutine at least twice a week. Also Spent quite a bit of time at Future Bakery enjoying their Chicken Schnitzel.

Finally, the one thing that made Toronto stand out the most....was the people. I know Canadians from surrounding/rival cities (politely) talk a lot of crap about Torontonians, but for a big city, it had the most kind population I have ever experienced. Even the small cities outside of Houston don't come close to the friendly feel of Toronto. My whole life I've always assumed that southerners are the most friendly people ever, and Torontonians made us look like Parisians....or New Yorkers..(ones that don't give away Gotye tickets). Everywhere I went there were community events going on, free food being given out in neighborhoods, and just an endless amount of effortless diversity. However, this kindness did not always extend to some places....cough (subway in korea town) cough, but overall, I felt immediately right at home.

There is so much more I could rant on about....the museums...the art galleries...Timmies.....the amount of amazing shows...Honest Ed's.....the GRAFFITI....but I've already spent too much time redditing on the clock at work, so I'll cut it short. In the end, I would have to designate Toronto as New York city, but cleaner, more beautiful, and with a VASTLY lower population of douchebags. I would choose Toronto over NYC a thousand times over. Also, your used video game shops have the best selection I have ever seen. I miss the city already, and hope to be returning soon for some Toronto winter action.

Peace out y'all, and never take your city for granted.

P.S - Excellent bud.

OH and I forgot....this video is the best single depiction of the city I have ever seen: Toronto Tempo.

What do you think of his observations? Do we take Toronto for granted?

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Today I Learned About Open Matte

open mattesOpen matte is a filming technique that involves matting out the top and bottom of the film frame in the movie projector (known as a soft matte) for the widescreen theatrical release and then scanning the film without a matte (at Academy ratio) for a full screen home video release.

In other words, removing the mattes was a cheap way to release the film on VHS later on so there wouldn't be black bars on people's TV sets. But, sometimes when you remove the mattes, you see things you were never supposed to see.

A great example of this is Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. Just watch this scene where Pee-Wee removes the chain from its container.

That hole in the bottom of the container where the chain is fed through was never supposed to be seen. That's open matte for ya.

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I Love You: A Commenter Laments The Suicide of a Friend

I Love You: A Commenter Laments The Suicide of a Friend A frequent commenter has written this guest entry and wishes for me to post it on his behalf. The words below belong to him.

I'm alive.

My friend isn't. He just killed himself.

I'm on business in Calgary and I received a text from a friend asking if I had heard. "Heard what?" was my response. His response was a phone call telling me the news that a friend took his own life.

"WHAT?!"

I couldn't believe it. My heart sank. I couldn't help but imagine someone could have been on the opposite end of the conversation a few years ago learning the news that I had done the same to myself.

The ride we're on in life is a crazy fucking trip. Who knows what we're going to get thrown our way and who knows how we're going to deal with it? We think we're strong and we think we're able to put up with all the bullshit but for some, for many perhaps, it's just gets to be too much. Mental illness is a disease and it's ridiculous to think how quickly it can take over someone's mind.

I had a health scare recently and it hit me hard. It's been a few years but it's only been months that I'm comfortable talking about it here. Mike's been on the receiving end of what I would guess would be some pretty fucking crazy emails and chats but it's friends and family that I've been lucky to have around me to talk with to get me through.

My friend didn't feel like he had that option, I guess. Some will call him a coward. I'll say he was a guy looking for help and didn't think he could find what he was looking for. Trying to understand or explain his actions is impossible. I'd rather just remember a good guy who didn't think he had any options left. And that fucking sucks.

I can't imagine what his Mom and girlfriend are experiencing right now. I feel so helpless for them.

Life is a crazy trip. Life is fragile. Life is something to be valued every day. Too often, we're happier to bust each other's balls and not tell the truth.

I love you.

I promise to learn from this. I'm happy to be alive and it's ok I once struggled with the idea of not being here. But never again do I want a friend to not know I love them. Man or woman, single or married, gay or straight...I'm going to tell my friends and family I love them.

Sometimes, who knows, maybe that's what they need to hear.

I love you.

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The Hazards of Driving a Google Maps Car

The Hazards of Driving a Google Maps CarThis is what you see in Google Maps for a home in Detroit.


View Larger Map

Nobody said driving the Google Maps car would be easy...

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Maple Moose

Maple MooseThere's an Irish owned and operated restaurant chain I've seen in Dublin called Maple Moose. They sell crepes, scoop & whipped Ice Cream, Slush Puppie, Waffles and beverages, and they do it all with Canadian branding.

I particularly like the logo.

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Learn more at maplemoose.ie.

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My Photos of Dublin (Well, Some of Them...)

My Photos of DublinParis was gorgeous, Amsterdam was cool, but Dublin is both gorgeous and cool. I love this city!

I have 171 pictures (and one video) in my Dublin Flickr photoset, but here are a few of my favourites.

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Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham GaolKilmainham Gaol is a prison in Dublin, opened in 1796 and closed as an active prison in 1924. The history of Kilmainham Gaol is fascinating, especially with regards to its political prisoners, so yesterday I toured the facility.

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And Peter from the Kilmainham Gaol Museum, if you're reading this, you're the very best tour guide I've ever had. Seriously, I'd take this tour again just to hear you speak about James Connolly, Grace Gifford Plunkett, Robert Emmet and Patrick Pearse.

Our foes are strong and wise and wary; but, strong and wise and wary as they are, they cannot undo the miracles of God Who ripens in the hearts of young men the seeds sown by the young men of a former generation. And the seeds sown by the young men of '65 and '67 are coming to their miraculous ripening today. Rulers and Defenders of the Realm had need to be wary if they would guard against such processes. Life springs from death; and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations. The Defenders of this Realm have worked well in secret and in the open. They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but, the fools, the fools, the fools! — They have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.

~ Patrick Pearse at the funeral of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa on August 1, 1915

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Look Right, Look Left

shamrockFor 38 years, all I've known is cars drive on the right side of the road. When crossing the street, I naturally look that way - it's ingrained in my muscle memory.

In Ireland, they drive on the left side of the road, and I can't seem to remember that. I just can't override 38 years of indoctrination, and I'm guessing I'm not alone. Dublin has clear reminders painted on the road of every pedestrian crossing.

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They've essentially dummy proofed it, and this dummy is grateful.

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Guinness Storehouse

Guinness StorehouseOn Saturday I visited the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam, and wanted to follow that up yesterday with a visit to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. The two tours and experiences are quite similar, and I enjoyed both.

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This building was built in 1902, but the Guiness we all know and love has been around since 1778. The Guiness Storehouse is bigger than the Heineken Experience, with 7 floors of information that delves quite a bit deeper.

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Like the Heineken Experience, there's a tasting of Guinness part-way through the tour and a full pint waiting for you at the end. I noticed nobody seemed to care if you stuck around for multiple tastings, so I got more than my share there, but scoring an extra pint at the top of the building was next to impossible.

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About that final pint at the top... it features a panoramic view of Dublin that's just gorgeous. Being there was worth the price of admission alone, and it's where I took the photo below.

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In the battle between the Heineken Experience and Guinness Storehouse, Guinness wins by a nose. Both are great fun with great beer, but the Guinness location was more grandiose with deeper information and the panoramic view of the city at the end sealed the deal.

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A Sure Sign I've Left Amsterdam

DublinWalking in Dublin, I've seen plenty of signs like the one below.

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That sign says it all: I've left Amsterdam.

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Heineken Experience

Heineken ExperienceOn my last day in Amsterdam before heading for Dublin, I visited the Heineken Experience. My thinking was that I could enjoy the Heineken Experience one day before visiting the Guinness Storehouse and effectively compare the two.

At Heineken for tour and beer #amsterdam

This brewery started brewing Heineken back in 1867 and was recently renovated to this museum tour with plenty of information about how they make their beer and the history of the company, as well as a pretty cool ride where you become the beer.

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Following that ride, there's a tasting where you score your first glass of Heineken and at the end there's two more larger glasses waiting for you in a beer drenched pseudo club. I must admit, that's one tasty beer, and the entire experience was a lot of fun.

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I'll write about the Guiness Storehouse next and tell you there which tour I preferred.

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See You Next Tuesday Open Mike

Open MikeI'm posting this Open Mike from Amsterdam, looking forward to visiting Dublin this weekend. If you have any travel tips for Dublin, I'd love to read about them in the comments.

You can also let me know what's happening back home in Toronto. A glance at my Twitter feed tells me it's all about Rob Ford's hypocrisy and gas prices. Surely you can do better than that!

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Comment away... and see you next Tuesday.

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Mes photos de Paris

Mes photos de ParisParis is the most photogenic city I've ever been to. Around every corner is another beautiful scene begging to be photographed. Here are a few of my favourite pics taken this week in Paris, France.

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Having the best time in Paris

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Meet Toronto's newest "Indie Rock" station

Finally, an alternative to the so called alternative...

CRTC Announcement:
http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1034063/crtc-approves-new-indie-rock-radio-station-in-toronto

Station Website:
http://indietoronto.ca/music/

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Visiting Jim Morrison, Frédéric Chopin, Oscar Wilde and Others

Visiting Jim Morrison, Frédéric Chopin, Oscar Wilde and OthersParis is full of life, and I've been living it up, but that doesn't mean I haven't made time for the dead.

Yesterday I visited the Cimetière du Montparnasse and today I made the trek to Cimetière du Père-Lachaise to visit the world's most visited cemetery. At the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise lies the final resting place of Jim Morrison.

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Jim Morrison attracts the crowd, but a short walk away is composer and virtuoso pianist Frédéric Chopin. His grave monument is also well decorated by adoring fans.

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In the same cemetery is Édith Piaf, widely regarded as France's national popular singer, as well as being one of France's greatest international stars.

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Édith Piaf's "La Vie en rose" is everywhere in Paris. Someone was playing it outside the Sacré-Cœur Basilica earlier today.

Also in the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise attracting a great deal of fanfare is the grave belonging to Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde.

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At Cimetière du Montparnasse, I stumbled upon the very popular grave belonging to Serge Gainsbourg. I had to look him up to learn that he was a French singer, songwriter, poet, composer, artist, actor and director and was regarded as one of the world's most influential popular musicians.

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I had no idea.

Here are a few other photos from my visit to these two Paris cemeteries.

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A Typical Scene in Paris

parisBonjour from sunny hot Paris, France. Everything in Paris is so photogenic, it overwhelms the senses. At every turn, there's another scene out of a movie.

I'll share more later, but for now, here's a little video I took yesterday of a typical scene in Paris.

À la prochaine...

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Eurotrip Open Mike

Open MikeI'm off to Paris, Amsterdam and Dublin. I'll likely post a few times from across the pond, but this is where I'll need you all to tell me what I missed.

In addition to sharing anything that's on your mind, track what's making news in Toronto, which celebrities have passed away and what's going on with Rob Ford's conflict of interest case.

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Comment away!

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Toronto Radio DJs: Where Are They Now?

toronto radio: where are they now?I got an email from a reader wondering where former CFNY personalities were now. I pointed him to The Spirit of Radio Fan Page, but he deemed that too out of date.

So I asked him for his list and I promised to take a crack at it myself and open it up to all of you to help me fill in the cracks.

Where are these former Toronto radio folks today?

  • Maie Pauts
  • Kneale Mann
  • Kim Hughes
  • Brother Bill
  • Pete Fowler
  • Visjna
  • Alan Cross
  • Humble and Fred
  • DJ Dingra
  • Producer of Live in Toronto, Chris Pack
  • John Jones - Music Director
  • Marla West
  • Mary Ellen Benninger

Here's the ones I know:

  • Maie Pauts - currently on Boom 97.3 (hear my chat with her here)
  • Kneale Mann - met him recently, currently consulting
  • Kim Hughes - heard her on CBC Radio One recently, not sure what she's currently doing
  • Brother Bill - changed his name back to Neil Morrison, was on 99.3 The FOX in Vancouver
  • Pete Fowler - OPP officer (hear my chat with him here)
  • Visjna - not sure
  • Alan Cross - currently hosting The Secret History of Rock on Astral stations
  • Humble and Fred - podcasting daily at www.humbleandfredradio.com
  • DJ Dingra - not sure
  • Producer of Live in Toronto, Chris Pack - not sure
  • John Jones - Music Director - not sure
  • Marla West - not sure
  • Mary Ellen Benninger - currently doing news at CHFI and 680News

Leave a comment letting me know about the rest or if I got something wrong.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 2: Ahead By A Century

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 2Here's the 2nd episode of my new podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, Rosie and I chat about the early feedback we've received, concerts we've dug and Ward crashes the party. This episode is exactly 36:55.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

As always, I'm very eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Have You Been to Paris, France?

Have You Been to Paris?I have a question for the hivemind.

Have you ever been to Paris? Not Paris, Ontario, but Paris, France...

paris

I'm going there on Friday and I'm curious as to what you'd recommend I do when I'm there. What do I have to see and do in Paris?

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They Might Be Giants - Istanbul (Not Constantinople).mp3

MP3It's Wednesday, and that means it's time for another Weekly MP3.

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 They Might Be Giants - Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
I had the video for this cover on VHS and played it over and over and over again.

The original, by the way, was from our very own The Four Lads way back in '53.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 1: Yawning or Snarling

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 1Here's the very first episode of my new podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, Rosie and I chat about Twitter spoilers, the elderly and technology and what the podcast is and is not. This episode is exactly 35:09.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

As always, I'm very eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought, what you'd change for future episodes and any topic ideas you have.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Michael Clarke Duncan, Dead at 54

In MemoriumMichael Clarke Duncan was 54. He was best known for his breakout role as John Coffey in The Green Mile, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.


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Public Enemy: Live at Sound Academy

Public EnemyA long-time fan, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I bought tickets to see Public Enemy in concert at the Sound Academy last night. I've been listening to Public Enemy for almost 25 years, and with Chuck D 52 years old and Flavour Flav 55, how good could they be live?

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Holy shit they're good! I had the best damn time. Their energy was amazing, the performance was better than I dared dream and there were so many highlights. My voice is still coming back after trying to keep up with the guys on songs I've loved for so very long.

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Where do I begin with the highlights?

  • Despite promoting this concert as Public Enemy playing It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back in its entirety, they played a great deal more - including cuts from Fear Of A Black Planet, "Can't Truss It", "Shut 'Em Down", "He Got Game" and a couple of new tracks.
  • When Maestro and Michie Mee hit the stage, I almost lost it. And Maestro's spontaneous performance? A true joy for this Let Your Backbone Slide fan.
  • I didn't think I'd survive Welcome to the Terrordome. EPIC! I'm glad they removed the crucifixion lines.
  • Another highlight amongst many highlights was "Night Of The Living Baseheads". That might be the most underrated song in hip-hop.
  • They opened with "Louder Than A Bomb" and closed with "Fight The Power". When I left the venue, it was 12:39.

I picked up my ticket for $15 on Groupon. $15 for over 2-hours of Public Enemy delivering real hip-hop. I still can't believe it...

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2013 Ford C. Frick Award: How to Vote for Tom Cheek

Ford C. FrickFor the 9th year in a row, I implore you to vote for Tom Cheek to be placed on the 2013 Ford C. Frick Award ballot.

Here's how you do it:

  1. Go to the baseball Hall of Fame's Facebook app: http://baseballhall.pgtb.me/p8v3tZ
  2. Like thier page
  3. Enter your email and first and last name. The list of candidates will open up.
  4. Search for Tom Cheek (he's on page #2) and click the "Vote" button next to his name
  5. Come back in 24 hours and vote again!

Here are previous entries I've written about Cheek's eligibility for the Ford C. Frick Award.

And yes, I shall use this opportunity to remind you that I've archived all of Tom Cheek's Greatest Hits. Click over and remember the glory days of Blue Jays baseball.

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Labour Day Long Weekend Open Mike

Open MikeI graduated from University in '98. That's 14 years ago, but still I feel dread during Labour Day long weekend. I'm wired to prepare myself for back to school, despite the fact I haven't had to go back to school in well over a decade.

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What's on your mind? This is the place to unload... I'll be around to guide you.

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