September 2013 Archives

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The History of the City of Toronto

The History of the City of TorontoThis was the conference opening video from TEDxToronto 2013.


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Spoiler Code of Conduct

Spoiler Code of ConductWith the prevalance of DVRs, binge viewing, time-shifting and other digital methods of acquiring television shows, we're in desparate need of a spoiler code of conduct.

Last night, the series finale of Breaking Bad aired on AMC. It's one of the few series I watch, so I most definitely tuned in. I have not, nor will I, blog, tweet, facebook or podcast a spoiler. In fact, earlier yesterday, I made a pledge not to do so.

In my opinion, publicly airing spoilers is downright rude. Would you have broadcast the twist ending of Sixth Sense upon leaving the theatre? Of course not, because that would have been a dick move. Spoiling an episode by live tweeting quotes or plot turns is a dick move.

I live by a spoiler code of conduct. I will always wait a minimum of six-months before spoiling a tv show or movie, and usually I'll wait much, much longer. Treat others the way you'd like to be treated.... it's nothing more complex than that.

Do you have a spoiler code of conduct? Do you think it's fair to live-tweet or facebook major plot points points of popular shows like Breaking Bad?

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Why I Love Sport: Reason #42

Why I Love Sport: Reason #42The East-of-Yonge version of me, my buddy Bob, shared this on Facebook. It's Mariano Rivera's Yankee Stadium goodbye.

I hate the Yankees and even I got choked up by the sight of a tearful Rivera hugging Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter on the pitcher's mound before walking off the field one last time to a standing ovation.

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Breaking Bad Finale: My Thoughts (Spoilers Inside)

Breaking Bad Finale: My Thoughts (Spoilers Inside)I initially hated the series finale of Breaking Bad. It was far too convenient, far too ideal. It was as if Walter White scripted the ending himself.

Think about how perfectly things turn out for Walt. He somehow finds his way into Gretchen and Elliot's house where he plays them perfectly, Badger and Skinny Pete helping along the way, despite the fact they'd get a huge reward for turning him in.

He's then able to enter Skyler's home, despite being the most wanted man in the country. C'mon, he's in his own home town visiting his old house, his ex-wife and getting close enough to his son that he can gaze upon him. But the best part is when he meets Lydia and Todd in a crowded Albuquerque restaurant. He still looks like Walter White but somehow goes unrecognized. Really?

And the way he gets the ricin into Lydia's tea is way too convenient. It's perfectly put into the one stevia pack he knows she'll use. That's beyond lazy writing, that's intentionally ridiculous. All of the above and the miraculous way Uncle Jack brings him Jesse and allows Walt to save him.... not to mention the way he kills all the nazis and ensures Uncle Jack survives long enough for Jesse to seal the deal. This is fantasy. 100% fantasy.

Because when Walt was trying to start that car outside the bar in New Hampshire with the police on their way, he freezes to death. As he sits there dying, his dream-like fantasy begins. Everything after this point, starting with the vehicle’s keys falling from the driver’s side visor, is pure fiction.

Walter White

That explains how convenient and completely ideal it is for Walt. That's what makes this disappointing series finale something truly amazing and awesome.

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Running the Bases

Running the BasesAs a kid, I'd have loved to have had the opportunity to run the bases at Exhibition Stadium after a Jays game. Just being on the same field as the pros is a thrill.

After this afternoon's 7-2 victory against the Rays, I asked my son and nephew if they wanted to run the bases. Kids can do so after Saturday games and that's exactly what we lined up to do.

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When it was their time to hit first and run home I nicely asked one of the security guards if I could accompany my 9-year old nephew. I didn't even bother to ask if I could run with my 11-year old son, who is just about my size, and thought maybe they'd let me accompany Zander considering how nicely I asked.

My request was denied as I was told he was big enough to run by himself. I had to wait behind home plate to collect the kids and will have to wait until kid #3 is a toddler before I can justify my adult presence during a Jr. Jays promotion.

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The game, for the record, was a lot of fun, despite the fact we're just playing out the string and trying to play spoiler. I've had quite a bit of luck with games I've attended in 2013, having witnessed the longest game in Blue Jays history last time I was at the dome.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 52

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 52In this 52nd episode, Mike is joined by guest co-host Anthony a.k.a. Il Duce. Mike and Il Duce discuss moving on from Blackberry, places to visit in Italy, how the Leafs will fare and Il Duce finally spills the beans on Humble's illegal trips to the kitchen. This episode is exactly 36:01.

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

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

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Last Open Mike of September

Open MikeAnd there goes September...

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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Dave Nichol, Dead at 73

In MemoriumDave Nichol was 73. He was the popular pitchman for the Loblaws grocery store chain in Canada. He brought us the delicious Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie and the "Memories of" products.


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Dr. Donald Low's Sensible Plea

Dr. Donald Low's Sensible PleaDr. Donald Low, chief microbiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital for more than 25 years, passed away last week. Brain cancer took him at the age of 68.

8 days before he passed, he recorded this most sensible plea for the legalization of assisted suicide. He just wanted to die with dignity.

It's such a sensible plea and so humane. I personally want the option to die with dignity. It's time we stop treating our pets better than our loved ones.

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Autumn Open Mike

Open MikeDo you say autumn or fall? I say autumn, but now I'm wondering if that isn't a little pretentious.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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My Wife Reviews the Buick Verano

My Wife Reviews the Buick VeranoI warned you my wife was going to review the Buick Verano, a car we drove last week. The following words belong to her...

I don't get excited about cars. So when Mike told me he was test driving a Buick Verano for a week, I had no interest. To top it off, the average age of a Buick buyer is in his/her late 50s. Not to sound ageist, but I just pictured a bulky luxury car that only "old people" would drive (no offence to any Buick drivers out there).

The GM Rep did, however, tell him that I would love this car. Surprisingly, she wasn't too off.

It wasn't the stereotypical big, bulky Buick. It was a compact car, albeit a "bigger", more powerful compact car. It had all the usual bells and whistles (leather seats, rearview camera, GPS, satellite radio, etc.) that you can find in other upgraded or luxury cars, so no surprises there. What I was easily impressed with was the roominess! I had more than enough leg and head room - so much so that I felt miniature, even with the desk, office chair, Christmas tree, and hockey equipment we decided to throw in there.

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Also, the acceleration was fast and quiet! Having said that, I use my car to get me from point A to point B safely. I don't need the speed or turbo that car enthusiasts might look for - but as an owner of a compact Mazda, the power of the Verano was so obvious.

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Good job, GM. Starting at $22,895, it's an affordably priced, nice car with everything anyone would want. You just somehow need to remove that "old person" stigma that this car clearly contradicts. Maybe it needs a bit of Kanye in its ads. Or July Talk!

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What Have They Done To My Song Ma

What Have They Done To My Song MaWhen listing "rain" songs on Saturday, I included a gem by Melanie. "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" is a great tune, but it's not my favourite Melanie tune. I'm partial to "Brand New Key".

You don't hear much about Melanie these days, likely because she seemed to withdraw from public life in the early 70s, but she had a string of fun hits including "What Have They Done To My Song Ma".

Here's "What Have They Done To My Song Ma" for the unfamiliar:

In a great example of irony, my first exposure to this tune was when it was used in a Quaker Oats Oatmeal Raisin Crisp ad in the early 80s. I remember this ad well, because I thought the song was catchy. I had no idea who Melanie was or that it wasn't an original tune.

So Melanie wrote a song called "What Have They Done To My Song Ma" and without her consent (because she didn't own the rights) had her song purchased and used by Quaker Oats to promote cereal.

Self-fulfilling prophecy indeed!

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The Buick Verano

The Buick VeranoI've just spent a week driving a new Buick Verano. When I was offered he Verano it was actually the first time I learned General Motors made a car called the Verano. I have since learned Verano is Spanish for summer.

My wife has agreed to write a review of this car, which I'll post later in the week. This was my first press test drive with GM, and it's worth noting they had a kick-ass magazine selection. I could have spent all day in the waiting room.

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Stay tuned for Monica's review of the Buick Verano, the quiet, comfy and quick treat we shared last week.

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Big Bruce at the Lonely End of the Rink

Big Bruce at the Lonely End of the RinkThe Tragically Hip's "The Lonely End of the Rink" shuffled on during my bike ride on Friday. I've loved this song since the first time I heard it in 2006, but it took on a far more personal meaning in January of 2008. That's when my uncle Bruce passed away suddenly.

"The Lonely End of the Rink" is now Big Bruce's anthem. When I hear it, I'm immediately brought back to the speech his only son made at his funeral.

Mark was a goalie, playing in the OHL for the Sudbury Wolves and Belleville Bulls. His father was his biggest fan and supporter. Big Bruce, a large and imposing figure, would sit at the end of the rink behind the net his son was minding. If anyone turned on Mark, hurling insults or ridiculing him for letting in a weak goal, Big Bruce made sure they knew who he was. Instantly, the catcalls would stop. Big Bruce always had Mark's back when he sat on the lonely end of the rink.

Big Bruce is still very much missed...

I hear your voice cross a frozen lake
A voice from the end of a leaf
Saying, "You won't die of a thousand fakes
Or be beaten by the sweetest of dekes"

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25 Stellar Rain Songs for a Rainy Saturday in Toronto

25 Stellar Rain Songs for a Rainy Saturday in TorontoIt's been raining cats and dogs all morning in Toronto and it doesn't look like it's going to let up for hours yet. That was the perfect excuse for me to assemble a brilliant 25 song "rain" playlist. Every song had to have "rain" in the title.

I didn't include songs with "rainy" or "raincoat" or "raindrops", just "rain. If I'm missing a "Rain" song you think just has to be there, let me know in the comments.

  • Only Happy When it Rains - Garbage
  • Purple Rain - Prince
  • Have You Ever Seen the Rain? - Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Rain-O - Chilliwack
  • Who'll Stop the Rain? - Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Red Rain - Peter Gabriel
  • Rain - The Cult
  • Rain Street - The Pogues
  • The Naked Rain - The Waltons
  • November Rain - Guns N' Roses
  • Why Does it Always Rain On Me? - Travis
  • No Rain - Blind Melon
  • I Wish It Would Rain Down - Phil Collins
  • Sad Sad Rain - Platinum Blonde
  • Set Fire to the Rain - Adele
  • Here Comes the Rain Again - Eurythmics
  • Fire and Rain - James Taylor
  • Rain When I Die - Alice in Chains
  • Rain - The Beatles
  • Lay Down (Candles in the Rain) - Melanie
  • Make it Rain - The KLF
  • Come Rain or Come Shine - Frank Sinatra
  • Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain - Willie Nelson
  • Early Morning Rain - Gordon Lightfoot
  • Rusted From the Rain - Billy Talent

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Memorial for Sue Trainor

Memorial for the Unknown BikerOn Wednesday, a cyclist was struck by a minivan and killed near my home. She was 51-years old. I couldn't find her name in any news reports about her death.

Although I feel terrible whenever someone loses their life in a traffic accident, this cyclist's death has affected me more than usual. It's because of where it happened, on Lake Shore Boulevard by Dwight Avenue, just west of Royal York. Since I moved into the neighbourhood a couple of weeks ago, I've ferociously biked this stretch of Lake Shore as it's part of the Waterfront Trail between First Avenue and Norris Crescent, the street that connects Lake Shore to the waterfront pathway. I bike this stretch, my wife bikes this stretch, my kids bike this stretch, it's eerily familiar territory.

I may not know her name, but I wanted to stop at the spot where she died. There's a small memorial there now, and I took photos.

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Tonight I'll tip a glass for the unknown cyclist...

Update: Commenter Mel has shared some information in the comments about her good friend Sue Trainor.

The cyclist was my good friend and cycling companion Sue Trainor. Sue was an amazing spirit, a good friend, a mom, a wife and someone everyone liked. Her sudden passing has affected so many people both in and out of the cycling community. Sue will be missed by many, many people.

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TTC Cell Service Map

TTC Cell Service MapWhen I was a kid, the frustration when riding the subway was that I couldn't get the radio on my Sony Walkman. There was no signal.

Today that frustration has morphed into the sad fact we can't get a cell signal on the subway in Toronto. Most of my life has been spent on the Bloor line which, as you'll see in the handy TTC cell service map below, has very few mobile-friendly pockets.

cell-map

[via Reddit]

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September 20 Open Mike

Open MikeSeptember is flying by...

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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TV and Me: Where I'm At and Where I'm Going

TV and Me: Where I'm At and Where I'm GoingMy brother Ryan watches a lot of television. He'll frequently write me emails telling me which series he's digging and urging me to check out shows like Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, Luther and Game of Thrones. If there's a critically acclaimed new show out there, he's watching...

I made a decision earlier in the year to stop starting television shows that are still in production. I broke that rule by watching Orange is the New Black, but I didn't like that show enough to continue. That means I'm just grandfathering in Mad Men and Breaking Bad, a couple of shows I'm up to date with and still thoroughly enjoying.

I sometimes think The Wire ruined me for television. I've started shows like The Walking Dead and Sons of Anarchy, but abandoned them early because I wasn't feeling it. I sometimes think I'm completely satisfied by live sports and good documentaries and films. I'm more than happy to supplement that with re-viewings of shows I adore. I'm currently making my way through Arrested Development for the fourth time and recently finished my third viewing of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Right now the television world is crazy for Breaking Bad's final two episodes, and I'm right there with ya on Sunday nights. But eventually there will be huge buzz for the conclusion of shows I never bothered to pick up, like Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, The Americans or Shameless, and I'm well aware I'll be on the outside looking in. I'm okay with that.

Just give me my Leaf games, a good doc and the final episodes of Mad Men and I'm happy. When I want something rich and compelling, I'll watch The Wire again.

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Maple Leafs 24/7

leafsWith last season's late start due to labour strife, I almost forgot that we'll be the focus of HBO's 24/7 this year leading up to the Winter Classic.

HBO will be filming the Leafs and Red Wings throughout the month of December leading up to the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on January 1.

HBO-24-7-Logo1

I can't wait for this season of 24/7...

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Ken Norton, Dead at 70

In MemoriumKen Norton Sr. was 70. He was the former heavyweight boxing champion who defeated Muhammad Ali in 1973.

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The 1% Rule and You

The 1% Rule and YouThere's a 1% rule that pertains to Internet culture. Wikipedia says "the 1% rule refers to forums, in which everyone must be a content creator. In this context, only 1% of the users of a forum actively create new posts and the other 99% of the participants only lurk."

This seems spot on with regards to this site. 99% of visitors absorb content whilst only 1% seem to comment. I've often wondered how interesting it would be if that 1% became 5% or, dare I dream, 10%.

If you're a lurker who enjoys reading, can you do me a favour? Can you try commenting for a while, either on regular entries or the Open Mikes? You can use your real name or create a unique but anonymous handle as many have done.

If you're a lurker who is ready to join and expand the 1%, let me know in the comments!

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 51

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 51In this 51st episode, Mike is joined by guest co-host Amanda a.k.a. Humble's lady friend. Mike and Amanda discuss the pros and cons of her dating a man 24 years her senior, what's next for their relationship and what happened to Humble's planned vasectomy. This episode is exactly 39:13.

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

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

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Season Overlap Open Mike

Open MikeTonight, I play my second game of the hockey season as the newest left winger on the Cherry Hawks. Last night, my slo-pitch team split the first two games of a best-of-three playoff series and we'll settle things with the Pirates next Monday. The seasons are overlapping.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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NOAH

NOAHIn a story that plays out entirely on a teenager's computer screen, Noah follows its eponymous protagonist as his relationship takes a rapid turn for the worse in this fascinating study of behaviour (and romance) in the digital age.

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The Toronto Sports Team Venn Diagram

venn

[via Reddit]

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GWG = Great Western Garment or Great Wayne Gretzky?

GWG = Great Western Garment or Great Wayne Gretzky?Confession time...

When Wayne Gretzky was promoting Great Western Garment jeans in the early 80s, I thought GWG stood for Great Wayne Gretzky.

I believed this for quite some time, actually. This ad from '82 shared by Retrontario brought this memory roaring back.

The Great Western Garment Company was founded in Edmonton in 1911, was acquired by Levi Strauss in 1961 and was shuttered for good in 2004.

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Friday the 13th Open Mike

Open MikeToday is Friday the 13th. Tomorrow will be Saturday the 14th.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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Ford Explorer Sport 4WD

Ford Explorer Sport 4WDThey call the colour of the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport I borrowed 'Ruby Red Metallic'. I drove it for a week during which I merged my Toronto apartment with my wife's Mississauga townhouse in our new southwest Toronto house.

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The retail price is $48,299 but this fully loaded model had $5,230 worth of extras. The majority of that money went toward the dual panel moonroof, the adaptive cruise control / collision warning system and the voice activated navigation system. In other words, this $53,529 truck is out of my price range, but damn did it come in handy.

I mentioned how much stuff it held for the move, but I haven't yet told you how comfortable, fuel-efficient and roomy it is. There are seven comfy seats and the ride is always smooth. If you're in the mid-sized SUV market, you have to test drive the new Explorer.

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Support Me and The Terry Fox Foundation

Thanks and Pleas: Terry Fox 2013There are only a few days left before the 2013 Terry Fox Run, so I thought I'd take one last crack at extracting money from your wallets for this excellent cause.

Donate to my run by clicking right here. The following fine people have already done so, and I'm extremely grateful:

  • Il Duce
  • Rick C in Oakville
  • Elvis
  • Matt W.
  • Marie C.
  • Lorne
  • Jenny from White Birches Cottages
  • Corey
  • Cheryl
  • Liz
  • Blind Dave
  • Speysidephil
  • Pete K.
  • Nigel Trousershrapnel
  • Al The Royal Pain
  • Glen
  • Douglas
  • Doug
  • Kevin in Alberta
  • My brother Steve
  • My mom

Terry Fox

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The 9/11 Lies Are Out There

The 9/11 Lies Are Out ThereI have friends who believe some of the many 9/11 myths that seem to be seeping into the mainstream. These lies typically include nonsense about the World Trade Center 7 collapse, the lack of Flight 77 debris at the Pentagon and the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 over southwestern Pennsylvania.

Back in January I wrote about how offensive and hurtful conspiracy theories can be, and this is particularly true when talking about 9/11. If you believe the American government had anything to do with 9/11, I beg you to spend a little time reading Debunking the 9/11 Myths: A Special Report from Popular Mechanics. In fact, to help you out, here are links to the specific 9/11 lies that are out there.

Popular Mechanics really did a thorough job here and explain it all.

We assembled a team of reporters and researchers, including professional fact checkers and the editors of PM, and methodically analyzed all 16 conspiracy claims. We interviewed scores of engineers, aviation experts, military officials, eyewitnesses and members of the investigative teams who have held the wreckage of the attacks in their own hands. We pored over photography, maps, blueprints, aviation logs and transcripts. In every single instance, we found that the facts used by conspiracy theorists to support their fantasies were mistaken, misunderstood or deliberately falsified.

I shared my memory and thoughts about 9/11 on the tenth anniversary. You can read that entry here.

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Heat Wave in September Open Mike

Open MikeThey say it's going to feel like 43° today. That's some contrast...

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 50

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 50In this 50th episode, audio guru Andrew Stoakley drops by to check out the new studio and tell us why he thinks Indie88 has already gone in the shitter. This episode is exactly 45:29.

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

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

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Current Comical State of my Home Podcast Studio

Current Comical State of my Home Podcast StudioThe Toronto Mike podcast studio is being rebuilt in Southwest Toronto but it's currently in a rather comical state... there are literally jungle animals hovering about.

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Audio guru Andrew Stoakley is dropping by later today to ensure everything is set up properly, to add a fader for inline audio from the MacBook Pro and to give me some pointers as to how I can improve the acoustics. I know I need an area rug to really tie the room together...

As for the hippopotamus, elephant, giraffe and monkey, we'll see how long that lasts. They're not decals, they're painted on, so they may stick around for a bit.

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U of T vs. York vs. Ryerson

U of T vs. York vs. RyersonI got my degree from the University of Toronto. It was conveniently located, had a good reputation and they accepted me. So off to U of T I went exactly 19 years ago this week...

I had a friend who went to York University, and I remember reading his essay and knowing it was a solid 60% at my school. He got a 90% for it at York. There's no way in hell that paper would have got me anywhere close to 90% at U of T.

Rumour had it that Ryerson was even easier. I suspect I would have killed there. Meanwhile, I was busting my hump to get a 70% with papers that would have scored me 90% at other universities.

But I did it, and now I have a lovely degree I could hang on my wall. I don't hang it, but I could!

But what if I went to York or Ryerson instead? How much easier could it have been? Does it really matter which university you graduate from? I have one line on my resume that mentions where my degree is from, and I can't imagine it's ever made a difference.

Employers and hiring managers: Do you differentiate between a graduate from U of T, York and Ryerson?

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Humber River Inukshuk Man Caught in the Act

picturesWay back in 2007, I wrote about the inukshuks that appeared in the Humber River in Etienne Brule Park. I've seen them every summer since, but I've never caught the gentleman who builds them in the act, until now.

Here's the Humber River Inukshuk Man doing his thing. This is like seeing Snuffleupagus!

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2013-08-25%2016.15.52

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My Moving Heroes: Ford, Elvis and Muzzin

My Moving HeroesI merged a couple of homes into one new home (it's 80 years old, but it's new to us!) on Thursday, and I wanted to take a moment to thank my moving heroes.

The wonderful Elvis came all the way from Oshawa to lend a hand, and the powerful Muzzin brought both muscle and his pick-up truck. In addition to their help, Ford Canada chipped in the mighty 2013 Explorer, Sport edition no less.

My sweet ride for the week #fordcanada

I can fit so much in this new Ford Explorer #fordcanada

Before I picked up the Uhaul, I made a few trips with the Ford Explorer and was shocked by how much room there is for moving stuff. The Uhaul is long gone, but I've still got the Explorer as I continue to empty my old apartment. The Explorer makes it as pleasurable as moving could possibly be.

So thanks Elvis, Muzzin and Ford. May this be the last time I ever move.

Tippet Richardson is a company that can help you if you are moving to Toronto.

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Moving Open Mike

Open MikeThis is my moving week, so I don't know where anything is or whether I'm coming or going. And yes Elvis, that's what she said.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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Musical Acts I've Seen Live

Musical Acts I've Seen LiveAfter taking my daughter to see Selena Gomez last week, I started thinking about bands I've seen live. Here's a list of bands I've seen live. It's possible I'm missing an act or two, but I think I've got most of them.

  • 3 Days Grace
  • 3 Doors Down
  • 30 Seconds to Mars
  • 54-40
  • A Perfect Circle
  • Abs & Fase
  • AFI
  • Alexisonfire
  • Alice in Chains
  • All Systems Go
  • Arkells
  • Ashes Divide
  • Attack in Black
  • Bedouin Soundclash
  • Beta Band
  • Big Wreck
  • Billy Talent
  • Blue Rodeo
  • Bran Van 3000
  • Broken Social Scene
  • Buck 65
  • By Divine Right
  • Cake
  • Catherine Wheel
  • Chalk Circle
  • Cheap Trick
  • Christina Grimmie
  • City and Colour
  • Cracker
  • Creature
  • Custom
  • Danny Michel
  • Def Leppard
  • Default
  • Die Mannequin
  • Dinosaur Bones
  • DJ Forest People
  • Dunk
  • Dustin Bentall
  • Dynamite Hack
  • Edwin
  • Elton John
  • Emblem3
  • Eminem
  • Eve 6
  • Fefe Dobson
  • Filter
  • Finger Eleven
  • Fishbone
  • Flashing Lights
  • Flashlight Brown
  • Flicker
  • Foo Fighters
  • Full Nine
  • G Strokes
  • Ghetto Concept
  • Goldfinger
  • Grade
  • Graph Noble
  • Green Day
  • Grim Skunk
  • Grindig
  • Hayden
  • Heart
  • Headstones
  • Headstrong
  • Helix
  • Hey Rosetta!
  • Hole
  • J. Englishman
  • Jerry Cantrell
  • Jet Set Satellite
  • Joel Plaskett Emergency
  • Kendel Carson
  • Kid Rock
  • Kill Hannah
  • Kim Mitchell
  • K-OS
  • ko
  • Limp Bizkit
  • Linkin Park
  • Los Lobos
  • Maestro
  • Matthew Good Band
  • Melissa Auf Der Maur's Hand Of Doom
  • Metric
  • Michee Mee
  • Microbunny
  • Mista Cronks
  • Moist
  • Mudmen
  • My Morning Jacket
  • Neil Young
  • Neverending White Lights
  • Nickelback
  • Not By Choice
  • Odin Red
  • Our Lady Peace
  • Papa Roach
  • Pearl Jam
  • Pocket Dwellers
  • Public Enemy
  • Princess Superstar
  • Radiohead
  • Rascalz
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Robin Black
  • Sam Roberts
  • Sarah Harmer
  • Sass Jordan
  • Selena Gomez
  • Serial Joe
  • Sevendust
  • Sharkskin
  • Silverchair
  • Simple Plan
  • Sleater Kinney
  • Sloan
  • Smashing Pumpkins
  • Spoons
  • Starling
  • Stereophonics
  • Stompin Tom Conners
  • Stone Temple Pilots
  • Sudden
  • Sum 41
  • Supergrass
  • The Bravery
  • The Buzzcocks
  • The Dears
  • The Living End
  • The Lowest of the Low
  • The Mahones
  • The Rheostatics
  • The Sadies
  • The Skydiggers
  • The Start
  • The Stills
  • The Tea Party
  • The Tragically Hip
  • The Watchmen
  • The Weakerthans
  • The Weekend
  • Theory Of A Deadman
  • Thornley
  • Tokyo Police Club
  • Treble Charger
  • Trouser
  • Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker (USS)
  • Velvet Revolver
  • Weezer
  • Wide Mouth Mason

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Back to School Open Mike

Open MikeI haven't been in school for 15 years, but every Labour Day I get that feeling in the pit of my stomach like it's time to go back.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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What to Do in Edmonton

What to Do in EdmontonEdmonton needs better PR. My expectations were super low after chatting with friends and readers who had been there. I was warned that there was nothing to do in "Deadmonton" if you're a guy who hates malls. Although I was only there for a short time, I was pleasantly surprised by how much better it was than advertised.

Having grown up a huge Wayne Gretzky fan, my first stop was Northlands to see the statue of The Great One outside of Rexall Place.

The Great One in Edmonton

Then, while I was in the area, I had to see Commonwealth Stadium, where the Eskimos play.

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Then, it was time for a sunny walk along Whyte Avenue in the Old Strathcona district. It was very cool with a definite Queen Street vibe.

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I particularly liked the Old Strathcona farmers' market.

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Although downtown Edmonton is a little small and underwhelming if you're used to bigger cities, I was able to crash a Lebanese festival and a public viewing of Goonies at Churchill Square.

Here are a few pics from downtown Edmonton.

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Banff and Jasper National Parks

Banff and Jasper National ParksWhen I asked friends and readers what I should do while in Edmonton, the most common reply I got was "go to Banff and Jasper" or "go to Calgary". So we decided to fly into Calgary, rent a car, and check out Banff and Jasper national parks.

It was gorgeous. Pictures don't do it justice, but here's a taste of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. You really should visit Banff and Jasper, particularly the extremely photogenic Lake Louise and Peyto Lake.

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Alberta is beautiful

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The turquoise blue of the water was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Apparently it's the result of "rock flour" (very fine rock dust that has been ground up by the glaciers) that is suspended in the water, causing refraction of light.

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Canada Olympic Park in Calgary

Canada Olympic Park in CalgaryDuring the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada Olympic Park was the primary venue for ski jumping, bobsleigh, and luge. I was there this weekend.

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This is where Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards represented Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping.

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The flags look like they've had better days.

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A highlight for me was sitting in the Jamaican bobsled. A yasso nice!

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After a brief visit to Calgary, we drove to Banff and Jasper before heading to Edmonton. I'll be collecting all of my Alberta entries here.

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Tommy Morrison, Dead at 44

In MemoriumTommy Morrison was 44. He was the boxer who beat George Foreman in 1993 to win the WBO heavyweight title. He later had a starring role in "Rocky V" alongside Sylvester Stallone.


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