April 2014 Archives

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Another Rob Ford Crack Video, More Rob Ford Crude Ramblings

While the Raptors were busy building a big lead against the Nets and almost letting it all slip away, my Twitter feed was erupting with news of another Rob Ford crack video and an audio recording of his typical misogynist and homophobic ramblings.

The Globe has the details about Rob Ford's crack cocaine use this weekend and The Sun has details on his offensive barroom tirade at Sullie Gorman’s Monday night.

ford-crack

The most shocking thing of all is how unsurprising this all is. It's what I've come to expect from this pathetic excuse for a mayor.

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Cherry Blossoms in High Park Delayed

cherry blossomsIn the past, I've written often about the Sakura / Cherry Blossom trees in High Park. Often they've already come and gone by this time, but this year they're delayed by that long, cold winter. Experts predict they won't bloom until mid-May or even later.

If you want regular updates, I recommend this site from an enthusiast who visits High Park far more often than I do these days. We've likely got another three weeks before you can take pictures like these.

Cherry Blossoms @ High Park

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Bob Hoskins, Dead at 71

Bob HoskinsBob Hoskins was 71. He was the actor whose varied career ranged from "Mona Lisa" to "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?".

hoskins

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Jane's Walk

Jane’s Walk is a movement of free, locally led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs, an urbanist and activist whose writings championed a fresh, community-based approach to city building. The walks get people to explore their cities and connect with neighbours. Jane's Walk is May 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

Jane Jacobs

Here in Toronto, there are well over 100 walks planned. Click here to find one in your neighbourhood and get involved.

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Tuesday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to this week's Tuesday 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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How My Daughter Sees Me

How My Daughter Sees MeFor a school project, my daughter has created Bitstrips characters for just about everyone she cares about. Here's my character:

Fwd: bitstrips

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DJ E-Z Rock, Dead at 46

DJ E-Z RockDJ E-Z Rock was 46. He was one half of the rap duo Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock who had hits with "It Takes Two" and "Joy and Pain".

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Déjà Vu Blues

Déjà Vu BluesI participate in an NHL playoff pool every spring. Last year, I banked on St. Louis, drafting four Blues. The Blues lost in six games in the first round after being up 2-0 in the series.

This year, with Ryan Miller between the pipes, I banked on the Blues again, this time drafting five. Again, things looked good early, as the Blues took a 2-0 lead in the first round. But it appears to be déjà vu all over again.

stlouis

Now that's eerie.

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My 40th Birthday Gift is Here, Guess What it is?

My 40th Birthday Gift is Here - Care to Guess What it is?The gift my wife has got me for my 40th birthday has arrived. I haven't opened it yet. Here's a picture of what's currently sitting in our living room.

40th Birthday Gift

Who wants to guess what's in the box?

Toronto Spa Packages are great gift ideas.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 75

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 75In this 75th episode, Mike talks with Elvis about the birth of his son, the death of his friend, Q107, Jeff Marek and more. This episode is exactly 1:06:03.

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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Friday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to this week's Friday 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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My Favourite Fact About Seinfeld's Mom

I first remember seeing Liz Sheridan on the sitcom Alf. She played Mrs. Ochmonek, the nosy neighbour.

Most people know Liz Sheridan best as Helen Seinfeld, Jerry's mom on Seinfeld. She played that role for nine seasons.

helen-seinfeld

But did you know that Liz Sheridan was once engaged to James Dean?

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Mimico, New Toronto and Long Branch: About These Bugs...

Mimico, New Toronto and Long Branch: About These Bugs...This is my first spring living by Lake Ontario. Today during my mid-day bike ride, I must have consumed a pound of bug flesh before finishing the ride with my shirt pulled over my nose and mouth. There are swarms and swarms of these bugs along the bike trails parallel to the lake.

How long does this last?

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Memories

scrambled

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The 500 Club in MLB

The 500 Club in MLBWhen I was a kid, I was obsessed with baseball statistics. I had a book called The 500 Club that chronicled every Major League batter to record 500 or more career home runs. It was a pretty short and tidy list.

At the time, there were only two members of the 700 Club (Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth) and one member of the 600 Club (Willie Mays), then there were these esteemed members of the exclusive 500 Club.

  1. Frank Robinson
  2. Harmon Killebrew
  3. Reggie Jackson
  4. Mickey Mantle
  5. Jimmie Foxx
  6. Willie McCovey
  7. Ted Williams
  8. Ernie Banks
  9. Eddie Mathews
  10. Mel Ott

That was it. 10 guys were in the 500 Club. Throw in the three who had over 600 and there was a grand total of 13. Yesterday, when Albert Pujols his his 500th career home run, he became the 26th player to hit 500.

It's still an exclusive club, it's just a little more crowded than when I was a kid.

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Toronto's Waterfront Trail: We Can Do Better

Toronto's Waterfront Trail: Cyclists Deserve BetterOur Waterfront Trail is pretty awesome. I'll ride as far east as Ashbridges Bay Park and as far west as Rattray Marsh Conservation Area. The Waterfront Trail actually runs from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Brockville, but I primarily use it in Toronto and Mississauga.

Most of the trail in Toronto and Mississauga is off-road and paved, which is ideal, but some parts are on quiet streets. I don't mind that at all, but there's one stretch that's far less than ideal. This is a stretch in Mimico / New Toronto from Norris Crescent to First Street.

Between Norris Crescent to the east and First Street to the west, the Waterfront Trail forces cyclists onto Lake Shore Blvd W. This is where Sue Trainor was struck by a car and killed last summer, and where I took my hardest fall while crossing streetcar tracks.

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.07.49 PM

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.08.33 PM

I don't know if the Pan Am Path will address this stretch, but something needs to be done. Toronto cyclists deserve better from our Waterfront Trail.

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Tuesday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to this week's Tuesday 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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Daily Photo: Father and Son

Daily Photo: Father and SonMy wife took this photo in the middle of Jarvis's first night at home.

Father and Son

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Training for the Ride, Gunning for $5000

Pledge My Ride to Conquer CancerI'm a little behind in my training for June's Ride to Conquer Cancer, but catching up quickly. Today I had a great 31 km ride and felt great. I'll be ready for 220 km.

A big reason I'm doing this is because I felt so helpless when my dear friend Mike Kic was diagnosed with cancer. He was treated at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, which the Ride to Conquer Cancer supports. When Kic passed away on April 12, several of you responded by pledging my ride, pushing me over my $4,000 goal.

I want to thank the following people with all my heart. I truly appreciate your support.

  1. Ellen M.
  2. Rick C in Oakville
  3. Mike Kic
  4. markosaar
  5. Speysidephil
  6. Dale
  7. Brian A.
  8. Doug
  9. Rick2
  10. Al The Royal Pain
  11. Christine H.
  12. Mike from Lowville
  13. Cheryl
  14. Il Duce
  15. Michael Muzzin
  16. Liz B.
  17. Blind Dave
  18. Alex Patino
  19. Mike Engell and Colleen
  20. Cousin Jen
  21. Aunt Maura
  22. Brother Ryan
  23. Jason from Sudbury
  24. Jamie
  25. Mom
  26. Zachary
  27. Faunie
  28. Douglas
  29. Steve M.
  30. Kevin W.
  31. Katherine R.
  32. Marie C.
  33. Erin Davis
  34. Matt W.
  35. Chad H.
  36. Nigel Trousershrapnel
  37. Brother Steve
  38. Philly-Bob
  39. Audrey
  40. TheSweaterTuck
  41. Cathy S.
  42. Tim
  43. Domenico
  44. Julie N.
  45. Helmut
  46. Daniel M.
  47. Claire H.
  48. Andrew
  49. Jackie S.
  50. Gwyn
  51. Mofo
  52. Nicki
  53. CJ
  54. 519 Rob
  55. Pete F.
  56. Glen S.
  57. Darren C.
  58. Niel W.
  59. Humble and Fred
  60. Mike P.
  61. Chris M.
  62. Adam T.
  63. Jeremey
  64. Teena in Toronto
  65. Rosie
  66. Daniel
  67. Stephanie
  68. Lorne
  69. Elvis
  70. Argie
  71. McNulty
  72. Boomer
  73. Michael Z.
  74. markosaar
  75. Patricia B

Although I've hit my target, I'm now gunning for $5000. If you haven't yet donated to my ride, please donate now.

I know who I'll be thinking about when I pass the finish line.

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Happy 4/21!

4/21Happy 4/21!

Today is the anniversary of the most legendary goal in the rich history of Canada's team. It was April 21st, 1951, game 5 of the Stanley Cup final between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens. At the 2:53 mark of the first overtime period, Bill Barilko scored the last goal of his life winning the Stanley Cup for the Leafs.

The 24 year old defenseman perished in a light plane crash that summer while on a fishing trip to Northern Ontario. Not until his body was recovered 11 years later in the bush near Cochrane, Ontario, did the Leafs win another championship.

I recently received several documents from the daughter of Ron Boyd who was the helicopter pilot who found the crash site of Bill Barilko. I also conducted an interview with Kevin Shea, author of "Barilko: Without a Trace".

He's our Buddy Holly, and every year, his legend grows. Join me in celebrating 4/21 this year as we tip our hats to #5 Bashin' Bill Barilko.

For more Bill Barilko videos, pictures, stats and info, visit my Bill Barilko tribute page.

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Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, Dead at 76

Rubin 'Hurricane' CarterRubin 'Hurricane' Carter was 76. He was the former professional boxer who became an advocate for the wrongly convicted after spending 19 years in prison for a triple murder he didn't commit.

Carter's struggle for freedom and exoneration was made famous in a number of books, a Bob Dylan song and a Hollywood film. Although born in the U.S., Carter had a special connection to Toronto, where he settled following his prison release, which came about with the help of a group of Canadians.


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Demand Evidence and Think Critically

demand-evidence-and-think-critically-15

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Raptors Easter Egg Gives Hope to this Huskies Fan

Raptors Easter Egg Gives Hope to this Huskies FanI love the latest Raptors promo video #WeTheNorth. Even though I just shared it Thursday, here it is again.

Did you spot the husky? At the 42 second mark, there's this:

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 12.03.34 PM

This new campaign, and that husky in particular, has me wondering if the Raptors will in fact become the Huskies.

The Toronto Huskies played pro basketball during the 46-47 season. As I wrote last year, it's time to correct a mistake and rebrand this team Huskies. It fits perfectly with the #WeTheNorth campaign.

This easter egg at the 42 second mark gives me hope.

P.S. Go Raptors!

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How Jarvis Got His Name

How Jarvis Got His NameMy son Jarvis was born a little over a week ago. This is the story of how he got his name.

Last August, I took my daughter Michelle to her first concert. We saw Selena Gomez at the ACC.

We parked at 1 Yonge Street and walked to a restaurant for dinner before the show. For fun, we thought we'd find names on signs in an effort to name her unborn brother.

I went first, after seeing an ad for Captain Morgan's rum, and suggested the name Morgan. Michelle didn't like it, but she saw a sign for Jarvis Street, and suggested we name him Jarvis.

The second I heard her say it, I was sold. "That's his name", I replied, without missing a beat.

I had to do a little selling with my wife, but eventually she bought in and the rest is history. Michelle named her little brother.

Two cuties: Michelle and Jarvis

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Friday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to this week's Friday 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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The Canadian Conspiracy

CanadaThe Canadian Conspiracy was a 1985 mockumentary illustrating a supposed conspiracy to infiltrate American culture through employment in the entertainment industry. It featured John Candy, Lorne Greene, Monty Hall, Doug Henning, Margot Kidder, Eugene Levy, Rich Little, Howie Mandel, Lorne Michaels, Anne Murray, Leslie Nielsen, Morley Safer, William Shatner, Martin Short, Alan Thicke and Dave Thomas.

I remember watching The Canadian Conspiracy on CityTV in the 80s and was pleased to find it in its entirety on YouTube.

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Emm Gryner's Beautiful Things Video Starring Kic

Emm Gryner's Beautiful Things Video Starring KicSix years ago, I shared a Future Shop ad featuring my friend Mike Kic. It wasn't his only claim to fame.

At the 40 second mark of Emm Gryner's video for Beautiful Things, a guy in a suit walks into an elevator. He's on a cell phone and looks rather annoyed. Click here to start the video at that exact moment.

That man was also Mike Kic. As a gag a few years ago, I had my friend CJ tweet at Kic pretending to recognize him from the obscure Future Shop ad. We had him fooled, and then I had her pretend to recognize him from the Emm Gryner video. That's when the jig was up.

kicster

Beautiful things...

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#WeTheNorth




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Tuesday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to this week's Tuesday 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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Mike Kic, 1980-2014

Shadow Kic

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My Son Wins Another House League Title

My Son the ChampionMy son plays for Frost in the Pee Wee division of the George Bell Hockey Association. Today, they took on the Capitals in the finals and we won!

I love watching my boy play hockey. He won it all last year, and won it all again today in a 6-1 cakewalk.

James wins!

This is James's third house league title. He won his first in 2010, the same day Sidney Crosby scored the golden goal for Canada.

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It Was The Best of Times...

Yesterday, was a great day. In fact, it was one of those all-time wonderful days that I'll remember forever. I enjoyed my first day with baby Jarvis and got to introduce James and Michelle to their new brother.

It was awesome.

Me and My Brood

At about 6pm, James, Michelle and I decided to make the trip from St. Joe's to Princess Margaret to visit my good friend Mike Kic. In his room on the 17th floor, Michelle told the story of how she named Jarvis, James promised everyone he wouldn't beat me up when he's bigger than me, and I reminisced with Mike Kic about our days playing ball together, this Raptors team he sold me on and shared the story of Jarvis's birth.

Then, when it was time to go, Kic and I exchanged exploding fist-bumps, as we have every week of every summer for well over a decade. It was likely our 300th fist-bump, and our last.

And that's what the kids and I talked about on the ride back to St. Joe's. One day you're saying hello to someone who will be a key part of your life forever, the next you're saying goodbye to a dear friend.

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Friday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to this week's Friday 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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The Birth of Jarvis Henry

Jarvis HenryLast night, at 9:45pm, Jarvis Henry finally arrived. He was 8lb 3oz and perfectly healthy. Mom's doing great, his brother and sister are excited and I'm exhausted.

The Birth of Jarvis Henry

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Vimy Ridge and My Son

Vimy RidgeCanadian forces played a very significant role in one of the key massive offensives launched by the Allies in WWI. On April 9, 1917, the Canadian Corps, four divisions strong and fighting together for the first time, attacked the German army posted on the gently rising slope of land that dominated the Douai plains in the Arras sector of northern France. It was known as Vimy Ridge.

This victory was the seedbed of Canadian identity. We were asked to capture Vimy Ridge, and we did. We did it by working together, Canadian heart can never be over estimated. It was this moment that solidified a very young country, 97 years ago today.

It will be an absolute honour to have a son born on this day. I can't wait to meet him.

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The Ultimate Warrior, Dead at 54

The Ultimate WarriorThe Ultimate Warrior was 54. He was the wrestler best known for his appearances in the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) from 1987 to 1991 and again in 1992 and 1996.

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Would You Trust This Labour and Delivery Room?

An arrogant, insufferable cad who threw away Darryl Sittler and Lanny McDonald and ensured the Leafs went 266-441 in the 80s is responsible for the room my son will be born in.

@jeffmarek crazy coincidence at St. Joe's

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Stinky TO

Stinky TOLast month, Catherine Solmes (@ccath on Twitter) wrote a guest blog entry here about Rob Ford and Jimmy Kimmel. She's written another one about Rob Ford she's titled "Stinky TO".

The following words belong to Catherine.

There is a bad odour in Toronto right now and it can’t be blamed on dog owners and the spring thaw. It’s an odour you can’t quite distinguish, but it’s distinctive and we can no longer ignore it. Like that bag full of orange peels, eggshells and coffee grounds you procrastinate over taking out to the green bin. There’s no smell at first, then it becomes a faint nagging odour for a few days until you walk into the kitchen and it hits you like a slap in the face.

The stench grew stronger this week with the pissing contest between the OPP and Toronto Police Services (TPS) - the OPP has backed away from the investigation claiming that, barring any new evidence, there is nothing to charge Rob Ford with and - get this - he may have been the victim of extortion attempts. The TPS’s lead investigator Det. Sgt. Gary Giroux, however, insists there is and that the investigation is on-going. Is there something rotten with our provincial and city police forces? Rumours abound - is the top echelon at the OPP squashing the case? Did the TPS bungle the investigation? Did they waste their chance of arresting Ford during their surveillance of him and Sandro Lisi exchanging mysterious packages? Does Ford have friends in high places? With the release of more Brazen 2 documents which continue to suggest Ford’s involvement in Lisi’s attempt to retrieve the crack video, Ford-weary Torontonians threw up their hands in disgust and frustration. While an arrest wouldn’t have solved the problem, it definitely would have felt like a confirmation of things we already know.

Ford’s lack of shame and sense of entitlement are stunning. The man feels that there’s nothing wrong with purchasing illegal drugs while in office, hanging out with gang members, getting into drunken stupors on a regular basis, driving while under the influence, urinating publicly, uttering racial and homophobic slurs, arriving at his office in the middle of the day without releasing his daily schedule, running away from reporters and lying extensively in the face of facts. And these are just the things we know about...

When the mayor’s powers were stripped after he admitted to smoking crack cocaine, it was because Council believed he was unable to make important decisions in an emergency situation. Ford’s ineptitude was apparent when he was MIA through much of the morning after December’s ice storm. His malice toward Council surfaced when he refused to declare an emergency while neighbourhoods throughout the city went as long as a week or more without power - all the while he handed out magnets and staged photo-ops while people froze in their dark homes.

More recently, Ford voted against motions to honour Nelson Mandela and congratulate Canada's Olympic and Paralympic athletes (this was not accidental - it was only after his staff apprised him of the furor his votes caused, 30 minutes after the fact, that he asked for a re-vote). Why is his suitability for public office still being debated?

What all this has proven is how ill-equipped we are as a city to deal with unfit leaders. But while council’s hands are tied, we can do this much: we can stop enabling him.

The reactions of the crowds that engulf him at sporting events and the nightclubs he frequents makes it appear that Ford is thought of as a rock star. But all the selfies, tweets and videos do not translate into votes and electoral support. Peer a little deeper, read the comments and captions, and what you see is a man who is the target of jeers, not cheers - people are laughing at him, not with him; they are goading him into further embarrassing behaviour. Because let’s face it - people like to see a train wreck. When have we become a city of enablers? Whether they’re true Ford supporters or Ford mockers, either way, they’re enabling him to continue on his downward spiral.

To Ford Nation: your unwavering support and defence of a man whose personal issues are affecting his performance as mayor is selfish. Your glee at the disgust and frustration he causes the “downtown leftie elite” ignores a man who is suffering from serious problems with drugs and alcohol. The Rob Ford of today is not the one you elected in 2010 (I would also argue that the Rob Ford you elected three years ago never really existed). If he gets worse, and all signs tell us he will, it will be on you. If he gets re-elected, he will get worse - look what the last 3+ years has done to him. You are enabling a deeply troubled man’s delusions that he can continue down the same road without eventually crashing.

To community and business leaders, and our mayoral candidates: your refusal to call him on his behaviour, to recognize a man that is out of control and refuse to comment on his “personal issues” - shame on you. You have the ability and position to speak out and say something but you choose not to do so. Is it out of politeness or out of fear?

Perhaps it’s because we’ve never had to deal with something like this before. Even Mel Lastman’s gaffes were tame compared to Ford’s. It’s going to take a collected and concerted effort, from Council to the media, to volunteers and voters, to take the garbage out to the green bin. Until that happens, we’ll have to live with the stench until October 27. Let’s not have four more years of it.

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Tuesday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to this week's Tuesday 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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What's Puck Yeah! Promoting?

And what's with the twist ending?

Someone sent me this video and for the life of me I can't figure out what's being sold here. Surely it's an ad for something, right?

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Rob Ford: Does Loads of Wrong, Tells Public Exact Opposite

Rob Ford: Does Loads of Wrong, Tells Public Exact OppositeGreat quote from The Globe and Mail yesterday. The editorial is appropriately titled "Rob Ford, still setting the bar as low as it will go".

Mr. Ford’s message to the voting public is this: I may have smoked crack while in office and I may have lied to your faces about it; and shady characters in the drug underworld may have recorded me on a cellphone video while smoking said crack; and I may have a very close friend who has been charged with extortion related to attempts to recover that video from gang members after its existence became public knowledge; and I may have been recorded on other occasions ranting, incoherent, inebriated death threats and calling the Chief of Police unmentionable names; and I may have referred to my wife in a startlingly vulgar manner; and I may have purchased illegal drugs while in office; and I may have driven drunk; and I may have alienated the entire City Council and been politically neutered; and I may have made Toronto, in particular, and Canada, in general, a laughingstock; but I have done nothing wrong.

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Q107 Goes from Classic Rock to Toronto's Rock Station

Q107 Goes from Classic Rock to Toronto's Rock StationQ107 has changed its tune from "Classic Rock" to "Toronto's Rock Station".

Fear not, they'll still play Led Zeppelin, but they'll also play newer rock. Here's John Derringer explaining the format tweak.

What do you all think about this change?

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Mickey Rooney, Dead at 93

Mickey RooneyMickey Rooney was 93. He was the actor and entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances spanned nearly his entire lifetime.

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Longer Video of Brokentooth's Ride From MLG to Bill Barilko's Grave

Brokentooth's Ride from Maple Leaf Gardens to Bill Barilko's GraveIn February, I shared a short video of Brokentooth's ride from Maple Leaf Gardens to Bill Barilko's grave.

I love the legend of Bashin' Bill, and I dig this longer video Brokentooth just sent me of his pilgramage to Bill Barilko's grave. This is Blue Line.

It's pretty awesome.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 74: Jeff Marek

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 74In this 74th episode, Mike chats with Jeff Marek, formerly of Live Audio Wrestling, Leafs Lunch and HNIC radio, and current host of Hockey Central on Sportsnet. They talk about Jeff's career, the horseshoe up his ass, his ex Josie Dye of 102.1, his start and reuniting with Strombo, his burying of Harold Ballard, Dion Phaneuf and much, much more. This episode is exactly 1:56:52.

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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Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to this week'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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Not All of Toronto's Trails are Ice-Free

Not All Toronto's Trails are Ice-FreeI'm training for a 220km bicycle ride in early June, so I'm trying to increase my daily distances. Yesterday, after a nice ride at lunch, I declared via Twitter that the trails were completely snow-free.

That tweet was premature.

Today, I took a completely different route, away from the waterfront. Plenty of spots along the route were snowy and icy, and some parts were unrideable. Here's what Etienne Brule Park looks like along the Humber River.

How am I supposed to bike across this?

Throw in a very snowy hill in King's Mill Park you can bike down but not up, and you've got to be ready to improvise when biking Toronto's trails this early in April.

The roads, however, are dry as a bone.

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What I Thought of the Breaking Bad Finale

Breaking Bad Finale: My Thoughts (Spoilers Inside)I've wanted to write about the Breaking Bad finale since it first aired on September 29, 2013, but I promised I'd wait six months before doing so. It's now six months later, but to avoid spoilers hitting the front page, I've archived the entry here.

Walter White

If you can handle the spoilers, because you've seen the finale or you just don't care, click on over and leave your spoiler-soaked comments there, not here.

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Daddy Sings to Jarvis




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How I Met Your Mother Finale

How I Met Your Mother FinaleI spent a few months without cable a couple of years ago. During this time, I watched a number of episodes of How I Met Your Mother, all from seasons 1-3. Since then, I've caught a few episodes on flights, but otherwise haven't tuned in to find out what's happened to HIMYM gang. Until Monday night, that is.

On Monday night, I watched the 1-hour series finale of How I Met Your Mother and had no problem whatsoever with the controversial ending. In fact, I pretty much predicted it. Just ask my wife.

I did, however, have an issue with how unfunny it was. I could have sworn this was a funnier show during the first three seasons. I tweeted it was like Seinfeld without the humour, and I meant it.

So don't be offended that the show's writers stuck to their plan and ended it the way they did. Be offended there weren't more laughs.

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Cherry Hawks: Champions

Cherry Hawks: ChampionsI played in the Swansea Hockey Association when I was young. I played until I was 13 and I never won the championship once. In fact, my strongest memory is going winless one season while playing for the CN Towers.

I returned to playing ice hockey several years ago, be we just rented ice for an hour, formed two teams and had fun. There was no championship to win.

This winter, my buddy Muzzin invited me to play for his Cherry Hawks in the ASHL. It was a blast and resulted in a championship won last night. Even better than a trophy, we got $200 to spend at the Thirsty Penguin. Beer and wings never tasted so good!

Hockey

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Hardware Salvation: What Would You Do?

Hardware Salvation: What Would You Do?When cleaning out my old office recently, I came across a dusty old desktop I hadn't used in some time. This week, I decided to set it up in my daughter's room.

The first thing I did was install all the updates to the operating system, Ubuntu 13.10. Then, I gave her a whirl. Everything is great, but once in a while, the screen will freeze in a trippy psychedelic state. That's no good...

I bought this desktop about six years ago for $250. I'd like it to put it back in service without graphic card crashes. Here's the specs:

specs

If this was your hardware you wanted to breathe new life into, what would you do?

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It's a Chalk Circle Kind of Day

April FoolToday is the perfect day to share my favourite song from the first band I saw live in concert, Chalk Circle. This is "April Fool".


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Jays concede season after opening day blowout

(St. Petersburg, FLA) After game 1 of the 2014 regular season, Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays have admitted the season is lost. “We’ll get ‘em next year”, says Jays Manager John Gibbons. Toronto was optimistic just days prior to the season opener, which engineered a winning record in pre-season matchups.

However, things began poorly Monday for starting pitcher R.A. Dickey who was roughed up by Tampa Bay’s unrelenting offense, despite ideal indoor conditions at Tampa for knuckleballer Dickey. Dickey spoke to reporters after the 9-2 drubbing at the hands of the Rays. “We gave it our best this season, so we’ll just need to re-group over the next seven months and over the winter to prepare for 2015.”

Some baseball analysts debated the depth of the Jays, now toiling in last place in the ultra competitive American League East. A key concern for the squad from the 2013 campaign was whether or not they could stay healthy. Manager Gibbons went on record to lament about how injuries played a factor last year, specifically with shortstop Jose Reyes. At his first plate appearance at the afternoon matchup, Reyes re-injured a hamstring that had been nagging him over the last 2 weeks. “Well with Reyes out of the lineup we just won’t be able to manufacture any runs this season”, Gibbons noted. Addressing the media scrum around him, Gibbons added: “So, unless you guys have any ideas, I just don’t see any point in continuing”. When a reporter asked about how other players could fill in for Reyes, Gibbons replied: “I’m serious. Do you guys have any ideas?”

After Monday’s loss, every Jays player came out of the dugout and waved goodbye to the Toronto fans in attendance, thanking them for their support despite another losing season. As players threw batting gloves and other paraphenelia into the crowd, centerfielder Colby Rasmus was clearly emotional. Afterwards, Rasmus commented that the whole team “is clearly exhausted” and needs a break after a grueling 1-day roadtrip to Tampa Bay.

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