July 2014 Archives

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I Just Killed a Bird

I Just Killed a BirdI've biked 2266.42 km so far in 2014, but today I did something for the first time. In fact, today I did something for the first time in my life. Today, I killed a bird.

It was completely unintentional. The little bird flew into my spokes while I was going about 28 km/h. It was dead on impact. There was nothing I could do to avoid the accident.

To make things worse, it was witnessed by two little kids walking the waterfront with their parents. They just got a good lesson in the fragility of life... especially if you're a little bird.

Now I know how Randy Johnson felt.


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Guess How Many Entries Have Been Published to Toronto Mike

Guess How Many Entries Have Been Published to Toronto MikeLeave a comment with your guess. I'll give the answer and announce the winner at 4pm today.

There's no actual prize, as I have nothing to give away right now. Digger03 just won the $100 from MasterCard and is picking it up Wednesday.

This one's for pride. How many entries (including this one) have there been?

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I'm A Jays Fan - CHFI's Erin Davis & The Generations

I'm A Jays Fan - CHFI's Erin Davis & The GenerationsThe Blue Jays are second in the AL East, only 2.5 games behind the Orioles. I think it's time to share more vintage Jays songs.

Erin Davis appeared on episode 84 of my podcast and we discussed her three Blue Jays songs: "Blue Jays B. Goode", "Blue Jays Are #1" and "I’m A Jays Fan". I didn't have "I'm a Jays Fan" in my collection, so her husband Miles Long was nice enough to send it to me.

Here it is, attributed to Erin Davis's band, The Generations. Sure, the Blue Jays CD attributes it to Erin Davis and the CHFI-Lites, but I now know better.

I'm A Jays Fan - CHFI's Erin Davis & The Generations

Other awesome Blue Jays audio from Toronto Mike:

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Biking Lake Shore, from Norris Crescent to First Street: An Update

Biking Lake Shore, from Norris Crescent to First Street: An UpdateIn the spring I wrote about the stretch of the Waterfront Trail between Norris Crescent and First Street. This is really the only part of the trail that's not off-road, not on quiet side streets and doesn't have a designated bike lane.

Since then, I've cycled this stretch with my two oldest kids many, many times, and I've seen how dangerous it can be. My daughter is a confident street rider, and she knows how to ensure she doesn't get doored by parked cars on Lake Shore, which forces her into unmarked lanes. Experienced cyclist Sue Trainor was killed in this very section just last summer. Surely we can do better for a key part of the 1400km Waterfront Trail.

I tweeted Mark Grimes, the counsellor for this area, about this concern and learned about PW32.6.

The Waterfront Trail stretches over 1,400 kilometres along the Ontario shores of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and Lake St. Clair, as well as the Niagara, Detroit, and St. Lawrence Rivers. It connects 68 communities and over 405 parks and natural areas. The Waterfront Trail follows Toronto's waterfront on a combination of multi-use trails, quiet residential streets and in a few locations along major arterial roads. The long-term goal is to relocate the Waterfront Trail from these arterial roads wherever feasible and to provide a continuous route on multi-use trails and quiet residential streets. The Waterfront Trail was recently extended from just west of Humber Bay Park to Norris Crescent. However, there is no opportunity to provide a continuous Waterfront Trail route further west, between Norris Crescent and First Street, because there are no connecting streets south of Lake Shore Boulevard and no public access along the Lake Ontario shore line. To continue west, trail users must travel along Lake Shore Boulevard to First Street to connect with the Waterfront Trail, continuing along quiet residential streets and multi-use trails to connect with the Mississauga section of the trail.

The Public Works and Infrastructure Committee has requested Transportation Services to investigate the feasibility of providing a cycling facility along Lake Shore Boulevard West to connect the Etobicoke sections of the Waterfront Trail. This report provides an update on the ongoing investigation. A final report on a proposed solution will be submitted to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee in the first quarter of 2015.

I'm looking forward to reading the proposed solution early next year and I'm pleased this issue is getting the attention it deserves. I'll be following this home and will update along the way.

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Double Digits, Baby!

Michelle is 10 - Happy Birthday, Baby!My amazing daughter Michelle turned 10-years old at 12:55 this morning.

Welcome to double digits, baby!

Michelle Bikes

Michelle and Jarvis

I can't believe that young lady was once this little girl:

Happy Birthday, Michelle!

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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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My 5 Favourite Quotes About Cycling

John F. Kennedy

"Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride."

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Ernest Hemingway

"It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best."

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Albert Einstein

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving."

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Arthur Conan Doyle

"When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking."

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H.G. Wells

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer despair for the future of the human race."

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54-40 Live in Southwest Toronto for Free

54-40 Live in Southwest Toronto for FreeI like 54-40. They had a string of hits I dug, including "Baby Ran", "I Go Blind", "One Gun", "Miss You", "Nice to Luv You", "She La", "Radio Luv Song", "Assoholic", "Ocean Pearl", "Love You All", "Lies to Me" and "Since When". Rather prolific, weren't they?

They're playing a free show this coming Sunday at 9pm at Colonel Sam Smith Park. If you don't know Colonel Sam Smith Park, it's a great park in New Toronto.

This is all part of Lakeshore Mardi Gras so you also get lots of food, a midway and fun activities for kids. But I'll be going to see 54-40.

5440

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How I Ended Up On Instagram

How I Ended Up On InstagramA couple of years ago, I wrote many words about why I never liked Instagram.

When Instagram came on the scene, I hated how people were intentionally and artificially processing their pictures to make them look old or Polaroided. In my opinion, the aged look of a photograph only has value when it's earned. In other words, a picture looking old is wonderful when it's an old picture, and the Polaroid-zation of a pic makes perfect sense when it was taken with a Polaroid camera, but forcing these effects is phony and ruins an otherwise nice picture. I never created an Instagram account.

About a month ago, I created an Instagram account. What changed?

My daughter, who turns 10 tomorrow, is on Instagram, and I couldn't see her posts without an account of my own. I wanted to see her posts, and now I can. I love seeing her pics and clicking that heart icon next to each one. I can't like them fast enough.

And that's how this Flickr Pro user ended up on Instagram.

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How Often Do You Shave?

How Often Do You Shave?During a more corporate period of my life, I'd shave my face every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I've always hated having to shave my face.

For the past few years, I've fallen into a nice routine where I shave every five days or so. I actually feel more confident with a few days growth.

Gentlemen: how often do you shave your face?

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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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Who Should I Interview on Toronto Mike'd?

Who Should I Interview on Toronto Mike'd?I've been podcasting since August 2012 and have 85 episodes in the can. Until this year, episodes were me and my friend Rosie shooting the shit about current events and happenings in our lives. That was a lot of fun, but then Rosie got a job a million kilometres away.

In 2014 I started doing two types of episodes:

  1. One-on-one interviews with public figures I was interested in
  2. Fun chats about current events and pot pourri with my buddy Elvis

Although there were one-on-one chats with Humble and Fred in 2013, having a famous person join me in my studio is primarily a 2014 thing. So far this year I've spoken with Jonathan Torrens, Todd Shapiro, Alan Cross, Jason Agnew, Jeremy Taggart, Greg Brady, Bingo Bob, Barb DiGiulio, Jim Richards, David Marsden, Neil Morrison, Jeff Marek, Down Goes Brown, and Erin Davis. I've enjoyed each one of them.

I'd like to continue shooting the shit with my buddy Elvis, whenever he can drop by, but I'd like to have more interesting one-on-one convos with public figures of interest to me. Over the next couple of months I will be sitting down with George Stroumboulopoulos, Mark Hebscher, Jim Lang, Raymi the Minx and 88.1 PD Adam Thompson. But who else should I add to that list?

Let me know who I should ask, and bonus points if you know them personally or know someone who knows them and can help broker the deal. And no, I haven't heard back from Maestro yet, but I'm not giving up. If you know him, tell him to do my show!

And if you want to go back and hear these chats, they're all archived here.

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The Rogue BiWay

The Rogue BiWayWhen I was a kid, there was a BiWay on Annette street just east of Jane. If a kid came to school wearing BiWay brand Champion's Choice clothing, the kids would let 'em have it. If you don't remember the BiWay, it was a discount department store chain that was shuttered for good back in 2001.

Although the BiWay doesn't exist anymore, there is one rogue BiWay that survives to this day. I snapped this picture yesterday on Lake Shore just west of Islington.

Rogue Biway

At least this rogue BiWay added the word "Zone" in small type and changed the logo. A mere five years ago, this is how that Rogue BiWay on Lake Shore appeared.

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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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Free $100 Gift Card from MasterCard #PricelessToronto

Free $100 Gift Card from MasterCard #PricelessTorontoDid you know you can save money on fun Toronto stuff simply by using your MasterCard? For example, I recently learned that I can take the kids to Canada's Wonderland and save 38% off each ticket. I'm totally going to do that.

If you'd like to see more Toronto deals when you use your MasterCard, visit https://www.priceless.com/en-ca/toronto/play.html. If you'd like a free $100 MasterCard gift card, simply leave a comment letting me know your favourite GTA destination for fun. I'll randomly pick a winner on my daughter's birthday, July 29.

I actually have this card in my possession now, so I'll have to work it out with the winner how to pass this card over. Good luck to all!

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James Garner, Dead at 86

James GarnerJames Garner was 86. His whimsical style in the 1950s TV Western Maverick led to a stellar career in TV and films such as The Rockford Files and his Oscar-nominated Murphy's Romance.

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I Like My Eggs Scrambled

I Like My Eggs ScrambledI could eat eggs every day. I love eggs. And there are so many different ways to make or order eggs:

  • Fried
  • Eggs Benedict
  • Hard Boiled
  • Omelette
  • Over Easy
  • Over Hard
  • Poached
  • Shirred
  • Soft Boiled
  • Sunny Side Up
  • Scrambled

All of those options, but there's only one way I'll make or order eggs, and that's scrambled. When I'm out for brunch, or whipping up eggs at home, that's my choice 100% of the time.

That may sound strange or stupid, but it's a fact. I only love eggs scrambled, but when they're scrambled I love them a whole lot.

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TTC Subway Hacks the Next Gen Won't Require

TTC Subway Hacks the Next Gen Won't RequireI took my oldest son to the Blue Jays game today, and we rode the subway to Union Station. On the Yonge–University line, both ways, we enjoyed the new Bombardier subway trains, and that got me thinking... This next generation of subway riders will never require the Red Rocket hacks we all knew and loved.

Anyone who has a regular subway route knows exactly where on the platform to board so when you reach your destination the doors open right across from the exit. This was always part of the game. It's a hack we all knew.

But the new subway trains allow you to walk between the cars while inside, so you can enter anywhere and simply walk to where the exit will be. It no longer matters where you board, as you'll see from this pic I snapped earlier today.

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And any TTC subway veteran knows which side the doors will open on before you get to the station. All the guesswork has been taken out of the equation as the new subway trains give you the answer. My son will never know that feeling of getting ready to exit only to realize the doors are opening on the opposite side.

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The game, by the way, was awesome. Stroman was brilliant and the Jays won. James is happy.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 85: Jeremy Taggart

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 85In this 85th episode, Mike chats with Jeremy Taggart about his years drumming for Our Lady Peace, why he left the band, his podcast with Jonathan Torrens, his battle with alcohol, his tryout with the Atlanta Braves and what's next. This episode is exactly 1:20:27.

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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Alan Cross Returns to CFNY 102.1 the Edge

Alan Cross Returns to Toronto's 102.1 the EdgeAlan Cross is returning to 102.1 the Edge where he's spent the bulk of his radio career. You can hear him chat with me about his career in radio in episode 66 of my podcast.

We haven't been told yet what his role will be on 102.1, but we're promised details in the fall. Alan Cross was let go as Program Director of the station in 2008 and completely fired from the station in 2011.

I've been hearing his voice everywhere lately, as he narrates the videos at the Science of Rock exhibit at Ontario Science Centre and he voiced the Bob McCown propaganda film that aired last night on Sportsnet.

His return to CFNY follows the return of Scot Turner and his Spirit of Radio Sundays and a re-embracing of 102.1's musical roots. This is a good thing.

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Elaine Stritch, Dead at 89

Elaine StritchElaine Stritch was 89. She was a five-time Tony nominee who I knew best as Colleen Donaghy on 30 Rock.

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ASUS Transformer Book T100 Review

ASUS Transformer Book T100 ReviewI'll spend a little time on a desktop running Ubuntu and a tablet running Android, but otherwise it's always my work-issued MacBook Pro or my LG G2 phone. It's been a while since I played with Windows on a laptop and I've never used Windows on a tablet.

That's why I was intrigued by the ASUS Transformer tablet. It's a 10" tablet that comes with a keyboard dock, so you can convert it into a laptop. It also runs Windows 8.1 and includes Microsoft Office.

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I feel sorry for folks using Windows 8.1 without a touchscreen. It really seems designed for touch and counterintuitive if you're just using a keyboard and mouse. But if you want Windows because it's what you know and / or need, the ASUS Transformer Book might just be the tablet for you. And it is a touchscreen, making Windows 8.1 actually bearable.

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Pros: Switching from tablet to laptop is super easy, and the battery life seems pretty good. It's light and has a USB and HDMI port, which you rarely see with tablets.

Cons: Coming from a MacBook Pro, it feels awfully plastic, but then again it is a great deal less expensive. And the Windows apps suck, especially if you're used to Android or iOS, but you can run full Windows programs to adequately compensate.

I can't wait to start playing with my new ASUS Transformer Book

In terms of value, I recommend this device, especially if you're a fan of Windows. For a 10" inch tablet / laptop hybrid, the price is right.

This ASUS Transformer Book T100 was provided by Intel Canada as part of the #IntelCanada Insiders Experience program.

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Stick Figure Family Decals for Your Car

I've been seeing family stickers and stick family artwork on the back of cars, SUVs and minivans for years now, and I've always wondered who decides to do that and why.

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 4.35.10 PM

So I'm asking the hivemind. Do you have stick family decals on the back of your automobile?

If so, why?

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Do You Smoke?

Do You Smoke?I just read that 40 million Americans still smoke. I was surprised the number was that large.

Do you smoke?

If you still smoke, have you ever tried to quit?

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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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The Science of Rock 'n' Roll at Ontario Science Centre is Awesome

The Science of Rock 'n' Roll at Ontario Science Centre is AwesomeToday, I took my kids to the Ontario Science Centre to see the IMAX film "Island of Lemurs: Madagascar" and check out The Science of Rock 'n' Roll experience. Both were pretty awesome.

"Island of Lemurs: Madagascar" is what you'd expect from a Morgan Freeman narrated IMAX movie about Lemurs, which is to say it's excellent. There's a lot about these cute little guys you likely don't know, and all of it is rather fascinating, and I'm a sucker for anything IMAX.

Psyched for the Science of Rock N Roll at the Ontario Science Centre

But the real attraction at the Science Centre these days is The Science of Rock 'n' Roll exhibit, and it's only here for a limited time. If you love music, you could easily spend an entire day reading about the history of rock, watching the many informative videos (narrated by Alan Cross, no less) and mixing, recording your own music.

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The kids loved the hands-on interactive components, as did I. The hardest part is letting them have their turn.

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Any time you can combine rock with science, you've got the perfect activity for the kids this summer. Throw in an IMAX film and you've got yourself a day to remember.

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Tommy Ramone, Dead at 65

Tommy RamoneTommy Ramone was 65. He was the last surviving founding member of seminal punk band The Ramones.

I wrote a little about the sad curse of The Ramones here.

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Questions for Jeremy Taggart

Questions for Erin DavisI will be sitting down next week with Jeremy Taggart, best known as the drummer for Our Lady Peace from 1993 - 2014. He'll be dropping by to record an episode of my podcast Toronto Mike'd, and I get an entire hour to ask him anything I want.

taggart

I know what questions I'll be asking him, but I'd love to know what you would ask him. What questions would you like me to ask Jeremy Taggart?

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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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Sam the Record Man Sign Resurrected at Yonge-Dundas Square

Many years ago, Sam the Record Man at 347 Yonge Street closed. Ryerson bought the building and promised to save the sign. We Torontonians love our signs.

Sam the Record Man

City council voted this morning to have the sign reassembled on the roof of 277 Victoria Street, a city-owned building on the east side of Yonge-Dundas Square, and have Ryerson University pick up the bill.

blogTO gives us an idea of what this will eventually look like. I'm cool with this. How about you?

sam

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 84: Erin Davis

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 84In this 84th episode, Mike chats with Erin Davis about getting fired and re-hired by CHFI, her classic Blue Jays songs, sleeping with the boss and lessons learned along the way. This episode is exactly 1:06:42.

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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Accepting the Fact I Don't Like Football

Accepting the Fact I Don't Like FootballI alluded to this in episode 83 of my podcast, but it's time to come clean in print. I really don't care for football anymore.

As a younger man, I watched a lot of NFL. The Bills were my team and I rooted for them the way I root for the Jays or Raptors. Periodically, when we had the Rocket or Doug Flutie, I'd watch the Argos, too.

I can pinpoint the moment I started to care less about the NFL. It was when Rob Johnson got the start over Flutie in the Music City Miracle game. Since then, I've watched less and less NFL football every year. Last season, I caught three games (including the Super Bowl) and all three included Manning and his Broncos.

For a while, I thought it was just the NFL that was turning me off, and I turned to the CFL. Now I know it's the sport. I just don't like football.

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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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I Prefer a Push Mower

I Prefer a Push MowerI own a home with both a front lawn and a back lawn, and I cut this lawn with a manual push reel mower.

My mom recently had her yards landscaped so they don't have grass anymore, so she gave me her electric mower. I used it exactly once before returning to my push mower. I prefer the manual mower for a few reasons.

  • It feels more like exercise - it's a mini-workout
  • I don't incur hydro charges - it saves me money
  • It saves precious natural resources and cuts down on pollution

What's your preferred lawn mower: push mower, electrical or gas-powered?

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It Ain't Me #BlueJays

It Ain't Me #BlueJaysOn June 5, I was feeling pretty good about this Blue Jays season. I took a screen cap of the AL East standings, showing us in first place with a 4.5 game lead over the Orioles, and wrote "So Far, So Good #BlueJays".

The very next day, our postseason probability peaked at a whopping 86%.

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Yesterday, exactly one month later, our postseason probability fell to 48%. Following today's loss and Baltimore's win, that number will fall yet again. We've lost 13 of our last 19 ballgames.

My buddy Elvis will tell you it's my fault, but it's not. I don't have that kind of power. This one ain't on me.

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Giggles

gigglesThe first sign of a newborn's personality comes out when he/she starts to smile and laugh.

And once you discover what makes that happen, you'll do it over and over again, no matter how ridiculous you sound.


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Perfect Day for a 30 minute 14 km Ride

Perfect Day for a 30 minute 14 km RideNow that the big ride is behind me, my go-to route is a brisk 14 km ride that takes me 30 minutes. I strapped on my GoPro when I went out this morning so you can follow along at home.




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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 83

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 83In this 83rd episode, Mike chats with Elvis about recent guests, the Muzzin controversy, the birthday beer, Canadian tennis and soccer hopes, and Nonis nonsense. This episode is exactly 1:05:27.

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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Canada, We Have Ourselves a Wimbledon Finalist

Canada, We Have Ourselves a Wimbledon FinalistI've been watching tennis grand slam events forever. As a young man, you'd have thought I was German the way I cheered on Boris Becker and Steffi Graf. After all, Canadians were never a threat.

Here's something I wrote in July of 2009 about Canada's male singles tennis failure. We had produced a few decent female players, and at least a couple of excellent doubles players, but not one male player who could even upset their way into a semifinal match. The highest ranking Canadian male in singles play was Andrew Sznajder who somehow got ranked #46 in September 1989.

Today, Canada's Eugenie Bouchard defeated Simona Halep in the Wimbledon semifinal and will play Petra Kvitova for the title. That's amazing. A Canadian might win a Wimbledon singles event.

Meanwhile, Milos Raonic has reached the semifinal and will play Roger Federer tomorrow. Before I had a true rooting interest, Federer was my guy.

With Bouchard and Raonic, tennis has become a whole lot more fun for this canuck.

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The Grid Alternative Weekly Paper Discontinued

The Grid Alternative Weekly Paper DiscontinuedTaking the subway to university on Thursdays meant picking up a copy of Eye Weekly. Eye Weekly was a cool alternative weekly newspaper that was distributed for free in Toronto. I always found something interesting to read in there.

In May of 2011, Eye Weekly was rebranded / relaunched as The Grid and continued to publish weekly. Tomorrow's issue, however, will be their last.

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Eye Weekly / The Grid: 1991 - 2014.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 82: Martin Streek

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 82In this 82nd episode, Mike chats with Alan Cross, David Marsden, Brother Bill, Todd Shapiro, LoriAnn, Fred Patterson and others about the life and death of Martin Streek on the 5th anniversary of his death. This episode is exactly 1:56:33.

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

Other relevant links:

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

Martin Streek

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Canada Day 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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