November 2013 Archives

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11 Years of Blogging

11 Years of Toronto BloggingIt was 11 years ago today that I changed my personal home page into a blog.

The Tale of the Tape

Happy 11th birthday, blog.

Discuss "11 Years of Blogging" (28 comments so far)


Friday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to today's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

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

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

Discuss "Friday Open Mike" (70 comments so far)


What Podcasts Do You Enjoy?

What Podcasts Do You Enjoy?I have a question for the hivemind.

I enjoy a good podcast, and even produce a few of my own. I'm interested in discovering new podcasts that would entertain, educate and/or enlighten me.

What podcasts do you currently enjoy?

Discuss "What Podcasts Do You Enjoy?" (47 comments so far)


All This Technology is Making Us Antisocial

newspapers

[via reddit]

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The All New Not-So-Great Moments in Sports

The All New Not-So-Great Moments in SportsI must have watched this Sports Illustrated commercial a hundred times back in the '80s.

I had no idea the guy looking for the all new Not-So-Great Moments in Sports video was a young John Slattery, best known as Roger Sterling on Mad Men.


Discuss "The All New Not-So-Great Moments in Sports" (3 comments so far)


I'm Banning Irvine

I'm Banning IrvI've asked Mark Irvine a.k.a. Irv to stop commenting on this blog. If he does comment, I'll delete it.

I didn't arrive at this conclusion lightly. Earlier today I received a second threat from him this week. Quite simply, I'm not going to accept that.

This blog, which turns 11 later this week, has always been a hobby of mine where I've honed communication, digital marketing and web authoring skills. It's also a great deal of fun for me. I've often said, when this stops being fun, I'll shut it down.

Being threatened by Irv is not fun. I've had it. He joins Dave Williams in a very exclusive club of those banned from commenting here.

If you think I'm being too harsh, I'd love for you to comment below. As always, I welcome alternative viewpoints and opinions.

Discuss "I'm Banning Irvine" (45 comments so far)


Always Use the Divider in Grocery Stores (Amirite???)

Why You Should Always Use the Divider in Grocery StoresCommenter Ben doesn't always use the divider when putting his groceries on the conveyer belt. He also calls the divider "a baton", which may or may not be the proper term. I haven't got around to Googling that one yet...

Ben just tweeted at me that he's not an asshole because he doesn't use the grocery store divider. Apparently, I called him an asshole during the most recent episode of Toronto Mike'd. I can't exactly recall as Rosie got me sugar drunk on peppermint mocha before I clicked "record".

As a one-time grocery clerk at the Galleria Mall Food City who occasionally worked as a cashier for extra hours let me tell you how nice it is when your divider removes the guess work. Don't make the poor cashier decide for him or herself whether the groceries belong to you or the person in front or behind you. Use the damn divider.

Two second of effort keeps the system intact. Don't be an asshole!

Grocery-Divider

What do you think about the grocery store divider? Are there times when you won't use it (assuming there's one there)? Is that really okay?

Discuss "Always Use the Divider in Grocery Stores (Amirite???)" (43 comments so far)


What the Rogers NHL TV Deal Means to Me

What the Rogers NHL TV Deal Means to MeThe other day, while I was watching the Leafs game, the broadcast experienced an issue with their audio mix. The sound of the game remained loud, but those in the booth became quite muted. For a glorious five minutes I watched the game only hearing the crowd, the players and sounds of the game, like the blade along the ice and the puck along the boards.

It was great. The best hockey commentators and analysts know when to shut up, and they don't do it nearly often enough. I don't need them to fill up every second with words, sometimes I just want to hear the game and see the action for myself.

I watch every Leafs game possible, and as much NHL playoff hockey as I can find. Rogers Communications securing a $5.2-billion deal for the right to broadcast NHL games across Canada for the next 12 years doesn't bother me, so long as they provide me with a live HD feed and put quality hockey people on the broadcast.

It's no secret my favourite Hockey Night in Canada games feature Bob Cole calling the action, and that rarely happens these days. It's usually Jim Hughson, who I can take or leave. I'm there to watch the game and just hope whoever is calling the action isn't particularly annoying.

And that's it. I just want to watch my Leafs and the playoffs, ideally my Leafs in the playoffs. Whether it's on CBC, TSN, Sportsnet or Leafs TV makes little difference to me. We got over losing the old HNIC theme song and we'll get over this.

After all, it's all about what the content is, not where it can be found.

Discuss "What the Rogers NHL TV Deal Means to Me" (39 comments so far)


Your Blog Sucks: Episode 10

Your Blog Sucks: Episode 10In this 10th episode of Your Blog Sucks, elvis and I discuss things that suck. There's gender predictions, waterfront trails, TSN losing the NHL and Mike's bike crash. This episode is exactly 29:52.

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

Catch up on all episodes of Your Blog Sucks at http://www.torontomike.com/your_blog_sucks_podcast/.

Your Blog Sucks Logo

Discuss "Your Blog Sucks: Episode 10" (12 comments so far)


Tuesday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to today's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

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

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

Discuss "Tuesday Open Mike" (68 comments so far)


Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 56

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 56In this 56th episode, Mike and Rosie discuss diapers, peppermint mochas and the latest Toronto news. This episode is exactly 29:52.

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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Scenes From a Cool and Crisp Toronto Bike Ride

Scenes From a Crisp and Cool Bike RideDon't let the temperatures fool you. It might be 0° out there with a chance of flurries, but it's quite warm if you layer up and go for a bike ride.

I just finished a 14km route along the waterfront and snapped these pictures of a cool and crisp afternoon in Toronto.

Scenes From a Cool and Crisp Toronto Bike Ride

Scenes From a Cool and Crisp Toronto Bike Ride

Scenes From a Cool and Crisp Toronto Bike Ride

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Bon Jovi, the Bills and MLSE

Bon Jovi, the Bills and MLSEJust last month I was ranting about the banner MLSE was raising in the ACC for Bon Jovi. It's all starting to make a little more sense.

Current Buffalo Bills owner, Ralph Wilson, is 95-years old. As soon as he kicks the bucket, Jon Bon Jovi may lead a group of investors who will buy the franchise and move it to Toronto. MLSE "would likely build and operate an NFL-caliber stadium in Toronto, possibly near Downsview Park or Woodbine Racetrack."

But what of the Argos? That same National Post article suggests MLSE may buy the Argonauts and move the team from the Rogers Centre to the smaller BMO Field. One hand washes the other, as Dr. Nick Riviera would say.

Ok fine, bring the Bills to Toronto and build a new NFL stadium in Toronto, just don't put one penny of our money toward the operation. I'm pretty sure MLSE's pockets are deep enough to handle this one on their own.

Discuss "Bon Jovi, the Bills and MLSE" (12 comments so far)


The NFL is Popular, Just Not With Me

The NFL is Popular, Just Not With MeIt's November 24th and I've only watched one quarter of NFL football this season. I caught the final quarter of Denver's 51 - 48 win over Dallas on October 6 and I got sucked in because it was Peyton Manning and I couldn't believe the number of points on the board.

Every season since Wade Phillips started Rob Johnson instead of Doug Flutie in the Music City Miracle game I've watched less NFL than the season before. And now, it's come to this.

I don't miss it at all. The NFL is very American... very militaristic with lots of hype and commercialism but very little actual action. In fact, the average NFL game "lasts 3 hours and 12 minutes, but if you tally up the time when the ball is actually in play, the action amounts to a mere 11 minutes."

11 minutes of action in a game that takes over three hours to watch. I'm glad I bailed when I did. I know too many people who can't leave their televisions on Sundays because they can't miss a minute of the big NFL machine.

It's not just the mere 11 minutes of action that sucks, it's also the 100+ ads you're subjected to and the fact an average play in the NFL lasts just four seconds.

I'll admit the NFL is very popular, it's just not popular with me.

Discuss "The NFL is Popular, Just Not With Me" (19 comments so far)


Of Steen, Scrivens and Rask

Of Steen, Scrivens and RaskI was just looking at the NHL statistical leaders and there are a number of ex-Leafs at or near the top.

As of this moment, the best save % in the league belongs to Tuukka Rask with .945. We gave up Rask in a deal for Andrew Raycroft I'd rather not remember.

The best GAA belongs to Ben Scrivens with 1.43. This trade doesn't look nearly as bad for the Leafs, as it landed us Jonathan Bernier.

Alex Steen is currently second in both points (behind Crosby) and goals (behind Ovechkin). Steen, you may recall, was dumped with Carlo Colaiacovo for Lee Stempniak.

It's not all doom and gloom, however. Rask, Scrivens, James Reimer and Bernier are amongst the league leaders in save % making this franchise a bonafide goaltender factory.

Discuss "Of Steen, Scrivens and Rask" (10 comments so far)


Your Blog Sucks: Episode 9

Your Blog Sucks: Episode 9In this 9th episode of Your Blog Sucks, elvis and I discuss things that suck. There's JFK, David Clarkson, Rob Ford, WKRP and a glorious reading from the book of George. This episode is exactly 33:33.

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

Catch up on all episodes of Your Blog Sucks at http://www.torontomike.com/your_blog_sucks_podcast/.

Your Blog Sucks Logo

Discuss "Your Blog Sucks: Episode 9" (5 comments so far)


Friday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to today's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

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

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

Discuss "Friday Open Mike" (112 comments so far)


Boston Symphony Orchestra Conductor Tells Audience John F. Kennedy Has Been Assisinated

The radio microphones were present at a Boston Symphony Orchestra concert at an extraordinary moment in American history.

On November 22, 1963, conductor Erich Leinsdorf was leading the regular Friday afternoon BSO concert at Symphony Hall. Before the program began, it had been reported across the nation that president John F. Kennedy had been shot by a sniper while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. It was known, too, that his injuries were serious, but that was all the information that was available.

During the first half of the concert, what was feared became confirmed: Kennedy's wounds were fatal. Monitoring news reports backstage at Symphony Hall, orchestra officials determined to continue the concert, but with a change in the program. Librarians pulled orchestral parts to Beethoven's "Eroica" funeral march from the shelves and brought them down to the stage door. After learning of the tragedy himself backstage, Leinsdorf walked back onstage, relayed word to the audience, and led the BSO in a work in tribute to the nation's fallen leader.


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Rob Ford's 5 Most Frequently Uttered Lies (These Days)

Rob Ford's 5 Most Frequently Uttered LiesRob Ford's on a media blitz, repeating the same tired talking points to Ford Nation in the hopes he will be re-elected next October.

With a glove tap to Matt Elliott, here are his five most frequently uttered lies. If you hear him spew this nonsense, know it's just another Rob Ford lie.

#1: That he’s saved Toronto a billion dollars

His billion-dollar boast includes things like revenue cuts projected over four years that are wrongly classified as budget savings, savings from contracting out garbage collection projected over the seven-year life of the contract, some double-counted savings, and a bunch of vague efficiency savings — many of which are based on hypotheticals and, either way, don’t differ too much from the amounts previous councils have “saved” year-over-year.

#2: That he inherited a bankrupt city

Ford likes to talk about how he inherited a city on the verge of bankruptcy. But he actually inherited a city with a $364-million surplus, an excellent credit rating and a per-capita debt level lower than many other North American cities, including Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.

#3: That he is responsible for the city’s construction boom or falling unemployment

On this subject, Ford has a curious habit of overstating figures for no reason. I don’t know why. The city unemployment rate did go down during his term: from 9.4 per cent when he took office to around seven per cent this past summer. But Ford likes to claim the unemployment rate when he took office was somewhere around 11 per cent. It’s never been clear why he insists on taking a legitimate good news story and throwing in an unnecessary exaggeration.

#4: That he has the support of the people

According to recent poll numbers by Ipsos-Reid, only 34 per cent of people think Ford is trustworthy. When they asked about next year’s election, a full 62 per cent said there is no way they would vote for Ford under any circumstances. When Ipsos polled likely match-ups for next year’s municipal election they found Ford could only count on about 20 per cent of the vote in most multi-candidate match-ups.

#5: That he’s never wasted taxpayer money

On his first day in office, Ford unilaterally put a stop to the construction of four fully-funded light rail transit lines. We later found out that he had no legal authority to stop the work. Before council overruled that decision a year later, the cost of the cancellation was estimated at more than $65 million, with about $45 million in additional sunk costs.

That wasn’t a one-time thing, either. Ford was also more than happy to sign off on at least $85 million worth of cancellation costs related to the previously-approved Scarborough LRT.

Ford’s not free from expense scandals either. In the fall of 2012, two TTC buses were dispatched to pick up the football team the mayor was coaching at the time. There’s also been allegations that the mayor used his staff to help run football teams he coached.

More recently, police surveillance documents released by the courts include interviews with former Ford staffers who claimed the mayor sometimes asked his publicly-funded office staff to run various personal errands for him – everything from picking up liquor to coming to his house to change light bulbs.

Discuss "Rob Ford's 5 Most Frequently Uttered Lies (These Days)" (14 comments so far)


The LG G2 Android Smartphone Extended Testdrive

LG G2I shared my early thoughts on the LG G2 Android smartphone but since then I've been using it exlusively. I literally set my Samsung Galaxy S Infuse 4G to forward all calls to the LG G2 Telus lent me and I've only been carrying the LG all month. My apologies for anyone who's been text messaging me these last few weeks, I haven't figured out how to forward those.

The biggest change has been the battery life. I can go two days without a charge, and that's with pretty heavy usage. I'll stream the radio and Songza, track my bike rides via GPS, check Gmail, Twitter and Facebook frequently and will always be surprised I've only used 55% of the battery at the end of the day.

I also love the size and speed. It's got a bigger screen and it's a great deal faster. Of course, this isn't a fair fight... Samsung recently released their Galaxy S4 making my model three whole generations behind. I'd love to compare this LG G2 to a Samsung Galaxy S4.

lg-g2-front-back

I think I'm screwed now. I don't think I can go back.

Discuss "The LG G2 Android Smartphone Extended Testdrive" (22 comments so far)


7 Tips for Online Shopping

7 Tips for Online ShoppingI never buy anything unless I really, really need it. Most recently that's meant biking gloves and a rake. But my wife was recently in need of maternity pants, and hit the web in search of a deal.

Here are her 7 tips for online shopping, which originally appeared on her wonderful new blog.

  1. Make sure you’re on a legit site. This is an obvious one. If you’ve never heard of that company before, do some looking around first. Also, keep in mind that some vendors have different US and Canadian sites. This could change some of the inventory and shipping costs.
  2. Find out the shipping options and costs. If the vendor is local, you might even be able to pick it up yourself to save on shipping costs. Also, consider the shipping couriers they use, e.g., Canada Post, UPS, FedEx, USPS, etc. If duty and handling charges are involved, these prices may vary depending on the courier.
  3. Find out the exchange/return policy and costs. There are some sites that offer free exchanges and returns, i.e., you don’t have to pay for shipping costs. There are also some that allow these transactions at stores so you don’t have to go through mail. Just make sure you don’t get stuck paying to return something. Most of the time, the initial shipping costs aren’t refundable so why would want to pay twice?
  4. Look for coupon/promo codes. RetailMeNot is a good site to check. Retailers also use social media to push promo codes, so check their Twitter feeds or Facebook pages.
  5. For clothing or shoes, try it on in a store first before purchasing online if possible. If you can’t, look for reviews. They will tell you if things fit small/large, the quality of the item, etc.
  6. Pay with a PayPal account. It’s free and it offers a good purchase protection for buyers.
  7. Check your payment account regularly, e.g. credit card statements or PayPal. Thankfully, my account has not been compromised with all the online shopping I’ve done, but it’s always good to check. Also, it’s good to verify the purchase charges.

Happy and safe shopping!

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Winamp, it really whips the llama's ass! (But no longer)

Winamp, it really whips the llama's ass! (But no longer)After 15 years, Winamp is shutting down. I actually wrote the obituary for Winamp back in 2004 when it was widely beleived AOL was abandoning the player, but it seems I was 9-years early.

Winamp was my preferred player for MP3 files for years because it was so light on its feet. Before the bloat set in, there was nothing faster. I miss the old Winamp.

If you're running Windows, you can still download the old bloat-free versions of Winamp here.

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Bob Dylan's Interactive Video for Like a Rolling Stone

Use the up and down arrows on your keyboard to change channels.


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Tuesday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to today's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

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

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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A New Blog for Moms (and Future Moms): Toronto Mommy

mouseMy wife is pregnant with my third child, but it will be her first. She's blogging about the experience over at TorontoMommy.com.

If you're a mom, expecting or just naturally curious about such things, bookmark her blog or subscribe to the RSS feed at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/TorontoMommy.

preggers

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Denial

denial
dɪˈnʌɪ(ə)l/

noun
noun: denial

the action of denying something.
"she shook her head in denial"
synonyms: contradiction, counterstatement, refutation, rebuttal, repudiation, disclaimer, retraction, abjuration;
antonyms: confirmation

a statement that something is not true.
plural noun: denials
"his pious denials of responsibility"
synonyms: contradiction, counterstatement, refutation, rebuttal, repudiation, disclaimer, retraction, abjuration;
antonyms: confirmation

refusal to acknowledge an unacceptable truth or emotion or to admit it into consciousness, used as a defence mechanism.
"I was an addict in denial"


Discuss "Denial" (36 comments so far)


Santa Claus Parade Memory Lane

picturesNine Toronto Santa Claus Parade's in a row... I'm a lucky SOB. And I'll most definitely be back...

2004

Toronto Santa Clause Parade 2004

2005

Toronto Santa Claus Parade 2005

2006

Ready

2007

At the Parade

2008

PB168239

2009

2009 Santa Claus Parade

2010

2010 Santa Claus Parade

2011

IMG_2058

2012

2012-11-18 12.04.43

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Five Easy Pieces

Five Easy PiecesNow that Coach's Corner has ended, I have a minute to share five thoughts rumbling through my mind...

David Clarkson

Will David Clarkson ever score for the Leafs? He hasn't looked bad, something's just a little off... Perhaps he's pressing while playing for the team he grew up idolizing? Maybe he's still rusty after missing the first ten games of the season? I don't know what's wrong, but this isn't the David Clarkson we're paying for.

UFC

I care less about UFC today than I ever have, and I've never cared about UFC. The tweets pollute my feed on Saturday nights but I just ignore them. UFC ain't for me.

Xmas Music

I rarely go into stores, but yesterday I had to buy a new rake. I visited a Canadian Tire and was inundated with Christmas music. It's just too early for that crap...

The Santa Claus Parade

My daughter is attending a baby shower in Aurora tomorrow and won't be able to make the Santa Claus Parade. My son and I have decided to skip the big parade and check out the smaller Lake Shore parade in December instead. That ends quite the streak for me...

We Are Toronto

There's a Tumblr site making the rounds called "We Are Toronto" and I'm honoured to have been included. Thanks to whoever nominated me... and that means you, Joanne.

Discuss "Five Easy Pieces" (16 comments so far)


It's Easy If You Try

It's Easy If You TryParent-teacher interviews were last week, and both of my children received stellar reviews. What pleased me most wasn't how bright they are or how well they did in their studies, it was what their teachers had to say about their individual character. Both are kind, helpful students who work well with others and create a better environment for all. Hearing that brought a huge smile to my face.

My 11-year old son and 9-year old daughter have been raised without a stitch of religion. They weren't baptized, have never prayed and don't believe in heaven, hell or an afterlife of any kind. They're not being kind to others as a means to go to heaven, they're being kind to others because they want to and were raised to treat everyone the way they'd like to be treated.

To be clear, I didn't raise my kids to be atheists or to regard all religion as fiction, I merely raised them without any religion at all. We discussed world religions the way we discussed geography or history. When one of them wanted to talk about god or heaven or hell, we talked about it openly. I'd do a lot of listening. Each on their own arrived at the conclusion that religion was man-made and purely symbolic story telling.

I've been married twice, once at Old City Hall by a Justice of the Peace and once in an art gallery by an Officiant. The word "god" wasn't uttered once in either ceremony.

I'm very much looking forward to the birth of my third child in the spring. He or she (I'll know which next week) will not be baptized and will also be raised without religion.

I wasn't raised without religion. I grew up in a typical Catholic home, collecting sacraments, going to church on Sundays and attending Catholic schools until University. I believed what my parents told me to believe. It wasn't until my 20s that I truly saw everything with my own eyes.

Remove the shackles of religion and experience true freedom. It's easy if you try.

Discuss "It's Easy If You Try" (38 comments so far)


Friday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to today's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

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

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

Discuss "Friday Open Mike" (137 comments so far)


Rob Ford: We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us

Rob Ford: We Have Met the Enemy and He is UsI have a good friend who would consider himself a proud member of Ford Nation. At least he used to. Today, that same friend tells me Rob Ford has to resign. At some point over the past few weeks, a straw broke the proverbial camel's back.

Rob Ford was democratically elected by this city. There is nothing in the Municipal Act that can force Rob Ford out now, despite the fact he's a massive distraction, has lost council and the majority of Torontonians.

We got the mayor we deserve by voting for Rob Ford in 2010. His character, judgment and bully tactics were clearly on display for all to see during his time as city councillor.

I bored of posting Rob Ford's asinine comments way back in 2008. That's the same year I posted this video of Rob Ford and first used the term "Schadenford". When this neanderthal announced he was running for mayor of Toronto in 2010, I wrote "Rob Ford For Mayor? Not On My Watch...". But it did happen... on my watch.

Looking back at Rob Ford's first day in office, it's interesting to read what I wrote.

This was day one. It's going to be a very interesting time, and I'm just wondering how long it will be until this idiot implodes or our city explodes.

As I write this entry, Rob Ford is still mayor of Toronto, and it doesn't look like he's going anywhere. Meanwhile, council will strip his powers, Rob Ford will continue to live in a state of denial and all of Toronto will suffer.

It's sad, humiliating, embarrassing and unfortunate, but we have noone to blame but ourselves. We did this, and now we live with it until the next election. Shame on us all.

kelly

Discuss "Rob Ford: We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us" (100 comments so far)


Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 55

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 55In this 55th episode, Mike and Rosie are joined by Pete from coreFusion as they discuss Toronto's best pizza and more. This episode is exactly 37:41.

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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Free Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler - Who Wants One?

Free Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler and the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Clear Shave GelGillette is a major Movember partner this year and to celebrate the partnership, Gillette is going to give a Toronto Mike reader a Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler and the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Clear Shave Gel.

The Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler is a 3-in-1 precision grooming tool that combines Braun engineering and Gillette Fusion ProGlide technology, to trims evenly, shave closely and edges accurately – helping men achieve their desired Mo style for Movember. Join Gillette and help turn men into gentlemen this Movember by heading to their Facebook page.

Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler Clear Gel

If you'd like to win this Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler and the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Clear Shave Gel, either for yourself or to re-gift to a loved one, simply leave a comment on this entry by November 15 at midnight. Just be sure to put your email address in the email field. I'll randomly pick a winner. Good luck!

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Tuesday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to today's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

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

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

Discuss "Tuesday Open Mike" (108 comments so far)


Mike Kic's Battle Starts Now #kiccancer

Mike Kic's Battle Starts Now #kiccancerI've played on the same slo-pitch team for well over a decade now. Some of the parts change, but the core of this team has stayed intact since the early 2000s. As I bounced around the infield, there's only been one man in left field, and that's been Mike Kic.

In addition to being Storm's left fielder, Mike Kic is one of the very best people I know. When Mike Kic married fellow Storm teammate Jordy in 2008, I was honoured to be there. In addition to being a dear friend, Mike Kic is also bananas. I wouldn't have got married in June without him in attendance.

Wedding

Mike Kic was recently diagnosed with stage IV esophageal cancer. On Friday, he begins treatment. The fight is on so I'm going to do what I've always done when Mike Kic prepares to battle. I'm betting on Kic.

1465383_10153473254470584_302743800_n

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A Day of Remembrance

poppyOn the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians pause and remember the thousands of men and women who sacrificed their lives fighting for freedom and democracy during the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Afghanistan conflict and during peacekeeping missions.

I've scoured my site for relevant entries. Here are some you may want to revisit today.

Here are some entries about Alfred Finley, a veteran and familiar face in Bloor West Village for many years.

And to those who served, or are serving this great country right now, I have one word: Thanks.

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Friday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to today's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

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

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

Discuss "Friday Open Mike" (122 comments so far)


The Wire Title Cards Applied to the Rob Ford Saga

...and all the pieces matter. - Freamon

the-wire-quote-06

Piece by piece, a wild but true story is being told with Toronto's city hall at the epicentre. Almost daily more details emerge. This video was released just over an hour ago. (NSFW due to language.)

Link to video

Call it a crisis of leadership. - Proposition Joe

the-wire-quote-35

Rob Ford lost the majority of council long ago, but now he's lost those in his inner circle. With zero integrity and no moral authority to lead, he's literally in the way. Toronto currently has no leader.

We fight on that lie. - Slim Charles

the-wire-quote-37

Ford Nation reminds me of America's Tea Party. If it's a lie, they fight on that lie. I have otherwise sensible friends who devour every lie Rob Ford tells despite evidence to the contrary. With these blind followers, it's more about being with Rob Ford than being right.

You play in dirt, you get dirty. - McNulty

the-wire-quote-48

Until Rob Ford takes accountability for his poor decisions and harmful actions, this saga will continue. Rob Ford has his hands dirty and it soils us all. It's difficult to say it any better than Jimmy McNulty said it.

A lie ain't a side of a story. It's just a lie. - Terry Hanning

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For months Rob Ford has been lying through his teeth with no regard for the reputations he tarnished and the integrity he cost himself and his esteemed office. Historically this has been Rob Ford's move: lie and deny until faced with absolute proof and then deflect and blame the messenger. But Rob Ford's lies aren't a side of the story, they're just lies. And lies cannot live.

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"Iron" Mike Bensson, Dead at 60

In MemoriumIron Mike Bensson was 60. I knew Iron Mike Bensson as an on-air personality at 97.7 HTZ-FM out of St. Catharines where he worked for over 15 years. Cancer sucks.

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Runnymede Theatre: From Chapters to Shoppers Drug Mart

Runnymede Theatre: From Chapters to Shoppers Drug MartAs a kid and teenager, the old Runnymede Theatre on Bloor Street was one of the two movie theatres I frequented. I wrote about my Runnymede Theatre memories seven years ago.

When the theatre was closing, there was concern whether the new tenants would be able to preserve the history and beauty of this old vaudeville theatre. I was very pleased with the job Chapters did, as you'll see from these photos I took.

Runnymede Chapters

I'm still awfully impressed with how they preserved the old Runnymede Theatre

Unfortunately, Chapters won't be renewing their lease and will be leaving this great historical space. A Shoppers Drug Mart is moving in, and I worry about how they'll treat the great interior.

I'll be keeping my good eye on this one...

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Happy 70th, Joni

Happy 70th, JoniJoni Mitchell is my all-time favourite Canadian female singer. When I meticulously assembled a list of the 100 best Canadian songs of all-time back in 2007, she appeared on the list four times. Today, she celebrates her 70th birthday.

Happy 70th birthday, Joni!


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My Appearance on Global News Hour Toronto

My Appearance on Global News Hour TorontoIt's amazing how much traction my steam-of-conscousness comment on talking to kids about Rob Ford is garnering by the MSM.

This morning I was in the Toronto Star and this evening I was on Global News Hour Toronto.

Here's my star turn as Dad #2 in Global News Toronto's "Rob Ford’s admission presents problems for parents":

Update: Thanks to Lorne for the YouTubery.

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I'm on the Front Page of Toronto Star's Life & Entertainment Section

Front Page of Toronto Star's Life & Entertainment SectionMy entry about talking to kids about Rob Ford is garnering some pretty cool attention.

Yesterday I did an interview with the Toronto Star that ended up on the front page of today's Life & Entertainment section. In about an hour I'm expecting a visit from Global News and I might have the CBC dropping in this evening.

Here's what was published in the Toronto Star today.

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Barb DiGiulio Gone from The FAN 590

Barb DiGiulio Gone from The FAN 590Rogers Media let go 94 people across the country yesterday including Barb DiGiulio at The FAN 590.

Admittedly, I hadn't heard Barb DiGiulio in quite some time, but in the early 90s I listened almost daily as she joined Gord Stellick on the Big Show. It was fun radio for this teenager at a time when the Jays were World Series contenders and the Leafs were improving quickly with Cliff Fletcher at the helm.

If memory serves me correctly, Barb DiGiulio was seriously considered as Jim Tatti's replacement on Sportsline. Now there's an early 90s Toronto sports flashback for ya.

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Talking to Your Children About Rob Ford

Talking to Your Children About Rob FordThe following is two comments I made on today's Open Mike. They were written quickly but from the heart following an intense discussion with my two kids as I took them to school this morning.

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Driving my kids to school today, my 11-year old son asked me if Rob Ford's father owned a park.

I asked him why...

He proceeded to tell me a story he heard from a friend at school. Apparently this tale was told in the schoolyard and these 11-year olds couldn't believe it.

The story was that Rob Ford and a buddy would go to a nearby park named for his father and drink booze all night, then they would smash the glass bottles in the park.

That's when it hit me... why I find it so upsetting that Rob Ford acts this way as mayor. That story was almost all completely true. There are thousands and thousands of impressionable kids in this city who are literally being told by their moms and dads to "not be like the mayor". Don't abuse drugs and alcohol, don't drink and drive, don't lie, don't smash bottles in public parks and respect and work well with others.

Don't be like Rob Ford. It is indeed very, very sad. Our hopes and dreams for our children is that they not grow up to be like the mayor of Toronto.

This discussion launched a big "disrespectful and inappropriate things our mayor does" conversation with both of my kids.

We talked about the lack of accountability, the drug and alcohol abuse, the bully tactics, the disrespect for parks, the drinking and driving, the constant lies and denials, the homophobic slurs, the racial slurs and the enabling by his brother.

It was this discussion with my kids about the realities of our current situation that made me realize how horrific it's all become, and they were spared the potential ties to murders, beatings and extortion.

This isn't fun, nor funny. This is sad and ugly.

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Tuesday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to today's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

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

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 54

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 54In this 54th episode, Mike and Rosie chat about Rob Ford... and more! This episode is exactly 38:28.

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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Derek: Ricky Gervais Does it Again

Derek: Ricky Gervais Does it AgainI'm watching less non-sports television than I ever have in my life, but I still made time to watch Derek, a 7-episode British series written by, directed by and starring Ricky Gervais.

Each episode is about 23 minutes, so you can chew through these in less time than it took to watch The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Do it. You'll thank me.

Derek is tender and sweet and the finale brought me to tears. And it wasn't just me, my wife was openly weeping by the end of it. I hadn't cried during a movie or series since Big Fish.

Here's an introduction to Derek:


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Slow Toronto News Week Open Mike

Open MikeThere's not much going on these days in Toronto... but maybe we can cook something up.

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

Print

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