October 2014 Archives

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Halloween Thoughts

Halloween ThoughtsMy oldest son has advised me that he's going trick-or-treating with his buddies tonight. He'd prefer I didn't tag along.

My youngest son has a costume, but has no idea what's going on. He's still a couple of Halloweens away from going door-to-door.

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Luckily for me, my daughter has asked me to go out with her and her friends. Once again I'll be donning my old goalie mask and sneaking mini Coffee Crisp bars from her trick-or-treat sack. I can't wait.

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My hope is that she'll let me tag along one more year before handing the baton to her little brother. I absolutely love it.

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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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Are You a Bad Parker?

Are You a Bad Parker?When I park my car, it's always legal. If it's in a parking lot, I find a legit spot and park between the white lines. It's just how I roll.

There are plenty of examples of bad parking on the web, but I'm interested in you guys. Are you a bad parker?


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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 94: Ed the Sock

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 94In this 94th episode, Mike chats with Ed the Sock about Jian Ghomeshi and Ford Nation, and Steven Kerzner about the storied career of Ed the Sock on Canadian television. And yes, I asked him about Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. This episode is exactly 1:01:27.

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/.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Tuesday Open Mike (Non-Election Edition)

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.

If your comment is about yesterday's municipal election, go here. If your comment is about anything else, you're in the right place.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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John Tory Elected Mayor of Toronto

John ToryJohn Tory has won Toronto's 2014 municipal election.

Voter turnout was a record 64.3%.

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Marcia Strassman, Dead at 66

Marcia StrassmanMarcia Strassman was 66. She played Gabe Kaplan's wife, Julie, on the 1970s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. She was also the mother in Honey I Shrunk The Kids and its sequel, Honey I Blew Up The Kid.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 93

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 93In this 93rd episode, Mike and Elvis discuss Jian Ghomeshi, future guests, TFC, the birth of Charles, and call Toronto's 2014 municipal election. This episode is exactly 1:14:13.

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

The blog entry Elvis and I discuss at length is this one. You might want to read it before you listen.

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

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Daily Photo: Sunny October

Daily Photo: Sunny OctoberIt was such an amazingly sunny and warm October day, I had to hop off my bike and take a picture.

October sun

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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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Waterfront Trail Gets New Signage

Waterfront Trail Gets New SignageI noticed on my ride today that they were putting up new signs in Marie Curtis Park. Here are a couple of pictures of the new Waterfront Trail signage that's going up.

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Here's the old signage that's being replaced.

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The Shootings at Parliament Hill

The Shootings at Parliament Hill in OttawaLike many of you, I was glued to the television and radio while the story unfolded in Ottawa yesterday. I watched CBC News Network and listened to CBC Radio One, and found the coverage anchored by Peter Mansbridge and Anna Maria Tremonti to be outstanding. There was a wonderful and refreshing lack of speculation and hyperbole.

We now know there was a single shooter, an angry young man who took the life of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a reservist based in Hamilton with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders regiment. Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was shot while on honorary guard at the National War Memorial, had a son in kindergarten.

Some media outlets will speak of the terror and fear, but I prefer to focus on our national sense of loss at this pointless, cowardly act. We are not afraid, we did not awaken this morning with a sense of terror. This is Canada.

I can't turn a phrase like Rex Murphy, so here he is on last night's The National sharing sentiments I agree with.

In Pittsburgh last night, where the Penguins faced the Flyers, they honoured Canada and sang our national anthem.

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I'll close this entry with Bruce MacKinnon's touching editorial cartoon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald.

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Toronto's Mayor Has Little Power Beyond Consensus Building

Toronto's Mayor Has Little Power Beyond Consensus BuildingThe last four years have been a political nightmare for this city, but it has shed light on how little power Toronto's mayor actually holds. The mayor of Toronto is more of a figurehead with merely a single vote at council. As we learned first hand, you're better off with no mayor than a bad mayor, but a bad mayor can cause little actual damage beyond embarrassment and shame.

There are three candidates who will share the bulk of votes cast in this municipal election, and only one would make a lousy mayor. Doug Ford has demonstrated time and time again that he would be unable to work with council and other levels of government to reach consensus and move this city forward. And when you can't do that, you've given up your primary power as mayor. We'd be far better off with no mayor than Doug Ford as mayor.

That leaves Olivia Chow and John Tory, and I believe both would make fine mayors of this city. Yes, my values and ideals better align with Chow's, but John Tory would represent this city with dignity, would work well with council and other levels of government and would help us rebuild after four years in the wilderness.

Only five days to go...

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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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Raptors Shirt Finally Fits 7 Years Later

RaptorsOn December 5, 2007, I took my kids to see the Toronto Raptors take on Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns. At the time I thought it was important that they see the greatest Canadian basketball player who ever lived.

Little did I know Nash would still be playing seven years later, but that's not what's most interesting about this December 2007 game. My son, who was 5-years old at the time, won a Raptors tee shirt that day. As you can see, it was awfully big on him.

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Seven years later, he's finally started wearing that shirt.

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Awesome Heritage Minutes Posters

Awesome Heritage Minutes PostersI loved the old Heritage Minute vignettes that aired on TV during commercial breaks. Historica Canada and Christopher Hemsworth Creative have designed a series of 13 limited edition Heritage Minutes posters with iconic quotes from each Minute. You can buy these as a set here.

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The True Story of How I Left My Bike Unlocked Outside BMO Field

toronto fcThanks to my buddy Elvis, I was able to take my daughter to her first TFC match yesterday. She had a lot of fun, heard a lot of swear words in the Supporter's Section and we both scored free toques.

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We biked to the game, but because I totally screwed up, we ended up at BMO Field with three bike locks and no keys. When I realized this 20 minutes before game time, I felt terrible. What was I going to do with two bikes and nothing to lock them up with?

My first thought was to have a heartfelt chat with a security supervisor. I explained the situation, that it was my daughter's first match and suggested there must be a creative solution. Alas, there was no way I was getting these bikes inside of BMO Field. I was going to have to leave them unlocked outside the facility for the two hour game.

I leaned them right up against the BMO Field fence, with my bike on the inside and Michelle's bike on the outside, and I wrapped my cable around them as if they were locked. Holding the cable together was a stick I found on the grass. Here's a pic of our bikes, from inside BMO Field and outside BMO Field.

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The bikes were still there at the end of the 1-1 draw with Montreal and we enjoyed a cool ride home. Bullet dodged and lesson learned.

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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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What is This Gym You Speak Of?

What is This Gym You Speak Of?Lots of people go to the gym. I'll bet many of you have a gym membership and go regularly. I have never been to the gym. Not even once.

Feel free to insert your jokes about my tiny muscles here. It's true, I don't lift. I probably should, but if I start weight lifting, it'll likely be something I do at home. Because I know myself, and I know I'm not a gym guy.

I exercise daily, for at least 45 minutes, and I live an active life. If I can walk somewhere, I'll walk. If I can bike somewhere, I'll bike. I'm always playing catch with the kids or soccer in the backyard. I think I'm in pretty good shape, but it's all gym-free.

Do you have a gym membership? Do you use it regularly?

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Elizabeth Peña, Dead at 55

Elizabeth PeñaElizabeth Peña was 55. She starred in the series I Married Dora as well as well as dozens of movies, including John Sayles's Lone Star in which she was awesome.

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Daily Photo: Foggy Lake

Daily Photo: Foggy LakeThis was Lake Ontario this afternoon.

Toronto fog

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Don't Worry About Ebola, Worry About the Flu

Flu ShotsThere's lots of chatter about the Ebola outbreak in Africa, and if social media is to be believed, even many North Americans feel threatened.

I'm not your doctor, or your dad (unless your name is James, Michelle or Jarvis in which case I might be your dad), but I care about you and the herd immunity. I'd like you to stop worrying about Ebola and get a flu shot instead.

Here's Dr. Agus on Howard Stern telling him what he should do to live a longer life. As you'll hear in this 23-second clip, it's a no-brainer. It won't just help prevent you from getting the flu today, it will reduce your chance of getting cancer and heart disease in the future.

Direct MP3 link

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 92: Maddog

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 92In this 92nd episode, Mike chats with Jay "Maddog" Michaels about his life in radio, why Billie was fired, Dean Blundell's trash talking and much, much more. This episode is exactly 1:37:21.

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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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 Did I Miss In Bruges?

How Did I Miss In Bruges?Yesterday afternoon, I watched In Bruges for the first time. In Bruges stars Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes and was originally released way back in 2008. That's six years ago.

Somehow, this six year old movie fell completely below my radar, despite the fact it's precisely the type of film I love. It's full of dark humour and interesting characters in a beautiful setting with a tremendous screenplay, yet it took me six years to realize this gem of a film existed.

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Sure, it's tough to market this type of genre-defying film, but In Bruges was nominated for an Original Screenplay Oscar. That alone should have put it on my must-see list. This one managed to slip through the cracks.

All of this is to say if I missed it, you might have missed it, too. I enjoyed it so much, I'm going to see it again.

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6 Months Without Kic

My buddy Kic died six months ago today. He was one of my favourite people in the world and I really miss him.

I'll always know how long it's been since Kic passed because it happened 3 days after my son was born. When Jarvis turns one, I'll know it's been a year since we lost Kic. When Jarvis turns ten, I'll know it's been a decade. The anniversaries will be linked for the rest of my life.

Sometimes, when I'm missing Kic, I'll read his old tweets. Often I'll even retweet one. Yesterday, during Hockey Night in Canada, I retweeted something he wrote about hating Glenn Healy. It was even retweeted by a few people, and for a split second, it was as if Kic was still with us. I liked that feeling.

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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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Jan Hooks, Dead at 57

Jan HooksJan Hooks was 57. She was a regular cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1986 to 1991. She also had a memorable role in Pee-wee's Big Adventure as a know-it-all tour guide at the Alamo.


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Maple Leafs Goal Song: We Can Do Better

The new goal song at Leafs home games is "Best Day Of My Life" by American Authors. Here it is if you weren't paying attention last night.

I'm not a fan and believe we can do better. American Authors are a Boston band, and I think our goal song should be courtesy of a Toronto band. I'm looking at Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, July Talk, Death from Above 1979, Cancer Bats or Fucked Up.

My nomination for the new Maple Leafs goal song is Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker's "This is the Best". I'm sure Ash would record a crackhouse-free version for MLSE.

What do you suggest for the Leafs goal song?

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Jarvis at 6 Months: Best Decision Ever

Jarvis at 6 Months: Best Decision EverI was sure I was done. I had a healthy, wonderful son and daughter. I was completely fulfilled and felt no desire to have a third child. Then, I fell in love with Monica.

Monica, several years younger than me, had no children of her own. She was (and is) an amazing step mother to my first two children, but she wanted one of her own. She wanted a child with me.

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This is where things got a little tricky. I didn't want to get married again, but Monica didn't want to have a child without getting hitched first. So if I was going to have a child with her, I'd have to propose first. I proposed at the top of the Eiffel Tower in September 2012 and we were wed in the Distillery District in June 2013. One month later, Monica was pregnant.

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When you have a 12 and 10 year old, you wonder how you'll possibly love a third child as much. You wonder how they'll be with their new sibling and how a third child will alter your relationship with them. You wonder if it'll be worth all those sleepless nights and the other inconveniences that come with a newborn.

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Six month ago today, Jarvis was born. I now have no doubt this was the right decision. Jarvis is healthy and happy and a complete joy, Michelle and James love him like a brother and my relationship with them is better than ever. Monica is an amazing mother and seeing her with Jarvis is truly a reflection of pure love. Six month ago today, my life drastically changed for the better and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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I have three amazing kids who fill me with pride. I'm a lucky SOB.

At High Park for the Terry Fox Run

Updated with Tale of the Tape:

  • Sleep: Pretty much sleeps through the night now, 7pm to 7am. Naps at 8am, noon and 3:30pm, although often skips that last one.
  • Food: Still enjoying breast milk supplemented with formula, but now a big fan of oatmeal, sweet potato, avocados, carrots, banana, apples and cereal
  • Crawling: Not yet... but very close

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It Begins...

The Passion That Tortures Us All

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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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Why Haven't You Registered to Donate Your Organs and Tissue?

trilliumOnly 2.96 million out of an eligible 11.74 million people in Ontario have registered to donate their organs. That sucks.

I wrote this entry over 8 years ago so there's no doubt as to my wishes when I die. My family knows that my organs and tissue are available to anyone who needs them once I pass. I certainly won't be needing them.

If you haven't yet registered to donate your organs because you don't want to, I'm curious as to why? Why wouldn't someone want to donate their organs and tissue upon their death?

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1 Company Owns All English Newspapers in Canada Sans 2

One Company Owns All English Newspapers in Canada Sans TwoPostmedia is buying Quebecor's 175 English-language newspapers, including the Toronto Sun. That means Postmedia owns just about every English-language newspaper in the country, except for the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail.

I realize newspapers are dying and the future is digital, but there's an inherent danger in having every paper in the country outside of Toronto owned by a single company. This makes a strong and independent CBC all the more important.

It's not much better on television where the typical news source options are either owned by Rogers or Bell. Again, this is why it's important we continue to fund the CBC, my preferred source for television news.

Postmedia, by the way, is picking up all 175 newspapers for a paltry $316 million. You'd think the Toronto Sun alone would be worth more than that. Is anyone else surprised by this?

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Jarvis Meets Otis



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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 First 13 Non-Google Apps I Installed on my LG G3

The First 13 Non-Google Apps I Installed on my LG G3I got a new LG G3 smartphone on Monday, and the first thing I did was install my favourite apps and modify the settings to my liking.

Standard with this Android release (4.4.2) was a number of Google apps I already use daily, including Gmail, Chrome, Drive, Maps, YouTube, Hangouts, Docs, etc., so this entry is about the first 13 non-Google apps I personally installed on this LG G3.

Here they are in alphabetical order:

  • Do it (Tomorrow) - for grocery lists
  • Facebook - for Facebook
  • feedly - for reading my RSS feeds
  • Flickr - for sending photos to Flickr
  • Instagram - for Instagram
  • Map My Ride GPS - for tracking my bike rides and walks
  • reddit sync - for reading reddit
  • Skype - for Skype
  • SwiftKey Keyboard - my preferred keyboard
  • theScore - for score updates
  • TuneIn Radio - for listening to the radio
  • Twitter - for Twitter
  • WhatsApp Messenger - my preferred texting app

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Whose Tweet Is it, Anyway?

Whose Tweet Is it, Anyway?Following the Royal's extra innings win over the A's last night, Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons tweeted at Blue Jays all-star Jose Bautista. Usually, such rhetorical tweets don't get a reply from the athlete mentioned. This time, Joey Bats responded.

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Good for Bautista, right? I was one of over 1900 people to retweet his response because it was so out of the ordinary. But what if Jose Bautista didn't write and send that tweet? What if a PR firm managed his Twitter feed?

It looks like that tweet was actually sent by someone at the PR firm responsible for Bautista's Twitter feed. Personally, I avoid following all verified Twitter accounts when the owner of the account doesn't do their own tweeting. I have no interest in hearing from a hired PR firm.

I'd like a list of celebrities who manage their own Twitter account. Someone should create a definitive list. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Joey Bats would make that list.

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Cycling: September 2014 vs. September 2013

Cycling: September 2014 vs. September 2013I measure all my bike rides with MapMyRide, so I'm challenging myself from a year ago. Here are the results from September 2014 and September 2013.

September 2014: 560.75 km

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September 2013: 242.61 km

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No doubt about it, I biked a great deal more in this September than I did last September. For one thing, my daily ride used to be about 12 km and is now about 19 km. I'm also using my bike for transportation more, whether it's a meeting in Liberty Village or the Beaches.

If I can take the bike, I will always take the bike.

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