February 2016 Archives

« January 2016 March 2016 »

Gord Martineau Signs Off as CityNews Anchor

Surprise! Gord Martineau signed off as anchor of the six o’clock news for the last time today. There was no goodbye, no farewell tour, he signed off as normal and a press release was issued by Rogers.

From the press release:

Martineau began his career with City back in 1977 as anchor of CityPulse. A Montreal-native, Martineau easily adapted to the Toronto environment and became an important part of the community, bringing a new brand of newscast to Torontonians. Throughout the years, he led coverage of the biggest local stories of our time, from Terry Fox’s heroic marathon run, to international affairs including Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan, and the events surrounding former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

Here's something I wrote about Gord 12 years ago. As I wrote then, I don't remember a time he wasn't anchoring the six o'clock news on CityTV. I even ranked him #5 on my list of Canadian Gords.

Here he is returning to CityTV back in 1980 after a few weeks working for the Global Television Network.

Mike Cooper recently left his Rogers Media gig to much fanfare. Gord Martineau was the biggest name at City for decades and didn't even say goodbye. This doesn't look like a happy parting, but I won't speculate any further.

It's the end of an era.

Discuss "Gord Martineau Signs Off as CityNews Anchor" (31 comments so far)


George Kennedy, Dead at 91

George KennedyGeorge Kennedy was 91. He won an Oscar in 1968 for Best Supporting Actor in Cool Hand Luke but I'll remember him best as Captain Ed Hocken in The Naked Gun series.

Discuss "George Kennedy, Dead at 91" (3 comments so far)


Toronto Radio Changes at 98.1, 93.5, 102.1 and 1010

There are a number of changes in Toronto's radio market, so let's run them down here.

We'll start with the announcement that came as no surprise. Darren B. Lamb, who recently left Roger Ashby and Marilyn Dennis at CHUM FM, replaces Mike Cooper as Erin Davis's co-host during CHFI 98.1's morning show. They're calling it Erin & Darren In The Morning.

They also unveiled their new logo.

chfinew

At the station formerly known as Flow 93-5, they've re-branded as 93.5 The Move. They'll play rhythmic hits from the 1990s and 2000s, along with current material. Here's their new logo.

move

They also fired all female on-air talent ahead of the re-launch.

Meanwhile, over at 102.1, they announced last week that they're bringing in Rick "The Temp" Campanelli as the newest addition to their morning show, but he won't join Fearless Fred and Mel until late June.

Carly Rae Meyers has left X92.9 in Calgary for the midday shift at 102.1 the Edge. Wade McNeil is leaving his evening shift, Adam gets the afternoon drive slot and Kid Craig gets eventings. I'm told more changes are coming here, so stay tuned.

If you heard episode 152 of my podcast with Pete Fowler, you heard me read the memo issued by Edge PD Stu Meyers about Martin Streek dropping an F-bomb on-air. Stu Meyers is Carly Meyers's father.

And finally, all the Newstalk 1010 shows you enjoy weeknights from 10pm to 2am are either being shuttered or moving so they can bring you a new show featuring David Eddie. That means goodbye (or see you later at another time) to The Late Shift with Gail Vaz-Oxlade, The Late Shift with Joe Warmington, The Late Shift with Bill Hayes and The Late Shift with Taggart & Torrens.

Let me know in the comments what you think of these moves, if you think about them at all.

Discuss "Toronto Radio Changes at 98.1, 93.5, 102.1 and 1010" (37 comments so far)


#TeamReimer 4 Life

The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded goaltender James Reimer, along with forward Jeremy Morin, to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for goaltender Alex Stalock, forward Ben Smith and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

I'm not going to write about every Leafs trade over the next few days, as I'm sure there will be a bunch, but I will write about James Reimer.

He owned this city back in 2011. Don't believe me? Click here. I was quick to pick up my Optimus Reim shirt, which I still wear all the time. I even dropped his name in the song I wrote and sang at my wedding.

IMG_20141129_193800

James Reimer is now a member of the San Jose Sharks, but that won't stop me from wearing my Reimer tee shirt, and that won't stop me from enjoying this gem from Bloge Salming and Down Goes Brown.

#TeamReimer 4 life.

Discuss "#TeamReimer 4 Life" (17 comments so far)


Watching the Leafs from the 600 Level

On Thursday night, I had three tickets to watch the Leafs and Hurricanes at the ACC. They were in the Fan Deck and courtesy of @TheFordFanatic. Me and my two oldest donned our Leafs jerseys and got set for Maple Leafs action.

20160225_185618

The Fan Deck, if you've never been, is on the 600 level of the Air Canada Centre. To get to the 600 level you have to take an elevator to the 400 level and walk up a couple of flights of stairs. When you've hit the ceiling, you know you've arrived.

20160225_195920_HDR

Last year, I took my daughter to a game in The Fan Deck and we enjoyed free all-you-can-eat popcorn. This year, for unknown reasons, we got the popcorn and all-you-can eat pizza and wings. It was amazing.

I'm still full, actually. The game was surprisingly good, too, as the Leafs won 3-1.

Just follow @TheFordFanatic on Twitter and you could score yourself one of those 200 tickets to every home game. Just don't ask me when they bring out the pizza and wings to accompany the free popcorn.

Discuss "Watching the Leafs from the 600 Level" (7 comments so far)


Open Mike

Welcome 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

Discuss "Open Mike" (64 comments so far)


Skinny Cable Packages Still Bloated

Four years ago, I wrote about the sports fans dilemma when it comes to cable television. Basically, you're screwed.

Yes, I'm well aware you can legally (and illegally) stream live sports, but at this point I just want to turn on Sportsnet or TSN or CBC and catch the game live in HD. Sometimes I'm watching hockey, sometimes I'm watching basketball, sometimes I'm watching baseball and sometimes it's tennis or soccer or whatever. Legally, it's expensive to purchase each league's streaming service, and illegally there a tremendous loss in quality and reliability. As I wrote back then, I pretty much live on CBC, TSN and Sportsnet. Three stations, that's it.

By March 1, TV providers in this country have to offer skinny basic packages and pick-and-pay channels. Considering I only want the three channels, you'd think this would save me a lot of money. Let's take a closer look and see how much money I'll save...

basic

Rogers's starter package is $25. That doesn't include the rental of the HD receiver, which is $7.50. And I also pay some bullshit "Digital Services Fee" of $3, so I'm already at $35.50 before I've added TSN and Sportsnet.

sports

Of course Rogers didn't lump all the sports stations together, that would be too easy. If you just want Sportsnet and TSN, you're out another $36. So my monthly Rogers bill for CBC, Sportsnet and TSN would be $71.50 plus tax.

That doesn't seem very skinny for three stations.

Discuss "Skinny Cable Packages Still Bloated" (23 comments so far)


Canadian Songs to Reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Hits 44

This used to be a rare event, worthy of noting, but now it's a regular occurrence. Note though, this is a Rihanna song featuring Drake. Drake has never hit #1 on his own.

Here's the complete list of 44 Canadian songs to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

  1. It's Love-Love-Love by Guy Lombardo
  2. Cry by Johnnie Ray and The Four Lads
  3. Sh-Boom by The Crew-Cuts
  4. Diana by Paul Anka
  5. Lonely Boy by Paul Anka
  6. Theme from A Summer Place by Percy Faith
  7. Ringo by Lorne Greene
  8. American Woman / No Sugar Tonight by The Guess Who
  9. Heart of Gold by Neil Young
  10. Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks
  11. Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot
  12. (You're) Having My Baby by Paul Anka and Odia Coates
  13. Rock Me Gently by Andy Kim
  14. You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
  15. Hot Child In The City by Nick Gilder
  16. You Needed Me by Anne Murray
  17. Heaven by Bryan Adams
  18. When I'm With You by Sheriff
  19. Black Velvet by Alannah Myles
  20. (Everything I Do) I Do It for You by Bryan Adams
  21. Informer by Snow
  22. All for Love by Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting
  23. The Power of Love by Céline Dion
  24. Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman? by Bryan Adams
  25. Because You Loved Me by Céline Dion
  26. My Heart Will Go On by Céline Dion
  27. One Week by Barenaked Ladies
  28. I'm Your Angel by R. Kelly and Céline Dion
  29. How You Remind Me by Nickelback
  30. Bad Day by Daniel Powter
  31. Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland
  32. Say It Right by Nelly Furtado
  33. Give It to Me by Timbaland featuring Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake
  34. Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne
  35. What's My Name? by Rihanna featuring Drake
  36. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen
  37. Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell
  38. Rude by MAGIC!
  39. Can't Feel My Face by The Weeknd
  40. What Do You Mean? by Justin Bieber
  41. The Hills by The Weeknd
  42. Sorry by Justin Bieber
  43. Love Yourself by Justin Bieber
  44. Work by Rihanna Featuring Drake

Discuss "Canadian Songs to Reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Hits 44" (6 comments so far)


Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 161: Hazel Mae

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 161In this 161st episode, Mike chats with Sportsnet sportscaster Hazel Mae about the Blue Jays, her career in broadcasting, her time in Boston and what it's like being married to a former Blue Jay. This episode is exactly 37:31.

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

2016-02-23_11-19-44

Become a Patron

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd and subscribe here.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

Discuss "Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 161: Hazel Mae" (6 comments so far)


Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 160: Liz West

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 160In this 160th episode, Mike chats with broadcaster Liz West about her work at ENOW, Canada AM, City TV, CP24, CHCH and her new podcast venture with Mark Hebscher. This episode is exactly 1:17:28.

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

Become a Patron

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd and subscribe here.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

Discuss "Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 160: Liz West" (6 comments so far)


Forgiving Vince Carter

Tonight, I surprised myself. I was at the Raptors game with the family and when Vince Carter entered the game, I found myself cheering. It was completely spontaneous. I was sincerely happy to see him again.

Less than two years ago I wrote this about Vince Carter. He quit on us, forcing Rob Babcock to make a terrible trade, and I was still pissed. There was no way I was going to forgive Vince for how he left this team.

2016-02-21_06-26-36

But there I was, with my 22-month old on my lap, flanked by my 14-year old and 11-year old, applauding Vince, and all that bitterness dissipated. I remembered the good times, and there were many. I remembered how he put this franchise on the map, the consistent flashes of brilliance and the complete and total Vinsanity that engulfed this city.

2016-02-21_06-27-01

It helps that I recently blew my kids' minds with YouTube videos of his best plays, and that he'll likely retire without a championship. It also helps that this team he abandoned is so damn good now, and to be honest, it helps that I'm older now, with new perspective on sport and life.

2016-02-21_08-03-37

I've forgiven Vince, and it feels good.

Discuss "Forgiving Vince Carter" (15 comments so far)


Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age and CIRCUS! The Exhibition

We spent a good chunk of yesterday at the Ontario Science Centre to check out a couple of travelling exhibitions: Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age and CIRCUS! The Exhibition.

20160220_103207

20160220_110045

As usual, everyone had a great time. These exhibitions run through April 24, 2016.

20160220_111214

Discuss "Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age and CIRCUS! The Exhibition" (3 comments so far)


Canadian Songs to Reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Hits 43

Justin Bieber's latest album is a hits machine. He just scored his third number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the first three of his career, all from Purpose.

Here's the complete list of 43 Canadian songs to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

  1. It's Love-Love-Love by Guy Lombardo
  2. Cry by Johnnie Ray and The Four Lads
  3. Sh-Boom by The Crew-Cuts
  4. Diana by Paul Anka
  5. Lonely Boy by Paul Anka
  6. Theme from A Summer Place by Percy Faith
  7. Ringo by Lorne Greene
  8. American Woman / No Sugar Tonight by The Guess Who
  9. Heart of Gold by Neil Young
  10. Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks
  11. Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot
  12. (You're) Having My Baby by Paul Anka and Odia Coates
  13. Rock Me Gently by Andy Kim
  14. You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
  15. Hot Child In The City by Nick Gilder
  16. You Needed Me by Anne Murray
  17. Heaven by Bryan Adams
  18. When I'm With You by Sheriff
  19. Black Velvet by Alannah Myles
  20. (Everything I Do) I Do It for You by Bryan Adams
  21. Informer by Snow
  22. All for Love by Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting
  23. The Power of Love by Céline Dion
  24. Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman? by Bryan Adams
  25. Because You Loved Me by Céline Dion
  26. My Heart Will Go On by Céline Dion
  27. One Week by Barenaked Ladies
  28. I'm Your Angel by R. Kelly and Céline Dion
  29. How You Remind Me by Nickelback
  30. Bad Day by Daniel Powter
  31. Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland
  32. Say It Right by Nelly Furtado
  33. Give It to Me by Timbaland featuring Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake
  34. Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne
  35. What's My Name? by Rihanna featuring Drake
  36. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen
  37. Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell
  38. Rude by MAGIC!
  39. Can't Feel My Face by The Weeknd
  40. What Do You Mean? by Justin Bieber
  41. The Hills by The Weeknd
  42. Sorry by Justin Bieber
  43. Love Yourself by Justin Bieber

Discuss "Canadian Songs to Reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Hits 43" (4 comments so far)


Tony Phillips, Dead at 56

Tony PhillipsTony Phillips was 56. He was the 18-year major-league veteran who played for the Oakland Athletics, Detroit Tigers, Anaheim Angels, Chicago White Sox, New York Mets and our Toronto Blue Jays.

He was a fantastic utility player who hit .354 during his brief 13 game stint with the Jays.

Discuss "Tony Phillips, Dead at 56" (0 comments so far)


Harper Lee, Dead at 89

Harper LeeHarper Lee was 89. Her debut novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird," immortalized her name with its story of justice and race in a small Southern town and became a classic of American literature.

Discuss "Harper Lee, Dead at 89" (0 comments so far)


Open Mike

Welcome 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

Discuss "Open Mike" (50 comments so far)


Changes at TSN Radio 1050

It's official. TSN 1050 Toronto has announced their new daily lineup and (gasp!) they gave a show to a woman!

Here's the new lineup of shows and hosts on TSN 1050 Toronto beginning Monday, February 22.

5:30 to 9am - Naylor & Landsberg in the Morning
Dave Naylor and Michael Landsberg will be joined by regular Insiders and experts including James Duthie, Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger, and Pierre McGuire.

9am to Noon - Game Day with Matt Cauz
Matt Cauz will be joined by Gareth Wheeler

Noon to 1pm - Leafs Lunch
Andi Petrillo will host, and rumour has it she's a woman. Co-hosts will include Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun, Craig Button and Dave Poulin.

1 to 4pm - Richards 1-4
Mike Richards leaves the mornings for this, less desired, shift.

4 to 7pm - Overdrive with Hayes, Noodles & the O'Dog
Bryan Hayes, Jamie 'Noodles' McLennan, and Jeff 'The O’Dog' O’Neill will anchor the show that will go head-to-head against Bob McCown's Prime Time Sports. Good luck, guys.

Discuss "Changes at TSN Radio 1050" (20 comments so far)


Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 159: Rob Johnston

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 159In this 159th episode, Mike chats with Rob Johnston, a man who worked at CFNY 102.1 from 1989 to 2015. This episode is exactly 1:26:50.

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

Become a Patron

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd and subscribe here.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

Discuss "Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 159: Rob Johnston" (10 comments so far)


Creed and The Force Awakens

I recently watched Creed, the seventh film in the Rocky series. It reminded me a great deal of The Force Awakens, the seventh film in the Star Wars series. There will be no major spoilers below, but if you really want to see either movie knowing as little as possible, you may want to stop reading.

Rocky came out in 1976 and Star Wars came out in 1977. Both movies are beloved crowd pleasers that have spawned many sequels (or prequels), with #7 of each hitting theatres in 2015. Watching Creed, a film a thoroughly enjoyed, I was reminded of how it felt watching The Force Awakens.

creed

Both are essentially remixes of the original in the series. Rocky? He's now Micky. Luke? he's now Obi Wan. Along the way you'll get the same beloved story with a score that instantly takes you back. And whether it's an appearance by the Millennium Falcon or Apollo Creed's boxing shorts, it's a time machine that gets your heart pumping.

starwars

It's the drug nostalgia and it makes you feel good.

Nostalgia - it's delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, "nostalgia" literally means "the pain from an old wound." It's a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn't a spaceship, it's a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards... it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It's not called the wheel, it's called the carousel. It let's us travel the way a child travels - around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.
~ Don Draper, Mad Men

Discuss "Creed and The Force Awakens" (2 comments so far)


Daily Photo: Frozen Weir

20160214_134236

Discuss "Daily Photo: Frozen Weir" (4 comments so far)


Free Sony Trinitron 27 Inch TV: Who Wants It?

I'm getting rid of my trusty 27 inch Sony Trinitron TV. I bought this thing at Sears about 15 years ago, and it still works as good as new. But be warned, it's very, very heavy.

20160214_095850

If you want it, and can pick it up, it's all yours. I'm actively searching for the remote control, but can't seem to find it.

Who wants it?

Discuss " Free Sony Trinitron 27 Inch TV: Who Wants It?" (18 comments so far)


Retsyn

I was listening to the latest episode of Terry O'Reilly's Under the Influence during my ride today, and he told a story about Certs.

I remember Certs as the "two mints in one" candy. Then, in 1994, the artist formerly known as Maestro Fresh Wes released "Certs Wid Out Da Retsyn". You might remember the video from MuchMusic.

What was this Retsyn found in Certs? Is it medicinal? Is it from a mint plant?

It was an interesting marketing strategy from parent company American Chicle – whose other product was Chiclets. The company launched Certs in 1956, and used the word Retsyn in all its advertising for years.

Retsyn sounded vaguely scientific, and Certs framed it as a proprietary ingredient, saying that a golden drop of Retsyn was a "miracle breath purifier."

In reality, Retsyn was homogenized vegetable oil.

Homogenized vegetable oil wrapped up in a fancy made-up word and marketed to suckers.

Discuss "Retsyn" (3 comments so far)


Open Mike

Welcome 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

Discuss "Open Mike" (50 comments so far)


Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 158: James Duthie

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 158In this 158th episode, Mike chats with TSN's James Duthie about his years at TSN, being recruited by Rogers Sportsnet, whether he'd follow Jay and Dan to the USA, and what he thinks of Rogers Hockey. This episode is exactly 1:30:51.

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

Become a Patron

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd and subscribe here.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

Discuss "Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 158: James Duthie" (13 comments so far)


Movie References in The Simpsons

Discuss "Movie References in The Simpsons" (0 comments so far)


Greg Brady and Jeff Sammut Fired from Sportsnet 590 The Fan

Rogers Media said they were cutting 200 jobs this quarter. They started last week, promising to finish as soon as possible, and today they delivered pink slips to two popular Fan 590 personalities.

Gone are Greg Brady from Brady & Walker and longtime utility host Jeff Sammut. It looks like 590 will air a show entitled Sportsnet Today The Andrew Walker Show from 1-4. No word yet on whether Sportsnet Today includes Andrew Walker, although that's highly likely considering he's still employed by the station.

Greg Brady visited my home on May 14, 2014. He appeared on episode 76 of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd, and he was entertaining, honest and an ideal guest. Part of what I like about Brady is that he doesn't pull punches. During this episode, he was brutally honest about why it didn't work out with former co-host Jim Lang. Recently, he went off on TSN Radio, which caused Mike Richards to strike back during his episode of Toronto Mike'd. Brady was always honest, perhaps too honest, but it made for interesting radio.

I knew Brady had rode in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, so when I was training for my first ride, I'd call Brady up and grill him with questions. He was very helpful.

Here's episode 76 with Greg Brady, if you missed it the first time.

Jeff Sammit visited my home on December 11, 2015. He appeared on episode 149 of my podcast, and it was a pleasure. When we finished recording, I looked at the software and saw it had crashed at the 1:02 mark. Luckily, I didn't lose that 1:02, but I had an episode without an ending. He was more than happy to re-record our last bit about his love of the Yankees and I learned a valuable lesson about recording software.

Here's episode 149 with Jeff Sammut.

This is a terrible time for members of the mainstream media. There are few options, and everyone is cutting staff. If it's not Bell Media or Rogers Media announcing cuts, it's Corus or CBC or Postmedia. Heck, CHCH fired everybody, just ask Mark Hebscher. Few are safe, job security is rare and good people who do good work are reduced to expendable numbers.

What an unfortunate state of affairs.

Discuss "Greg Brady and Jeff Sammut Fired from Sportsnet 590 The Fan" (90 comments so far)


Dion Phaneuf Traded to Sens

The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded captain Dion Phaneuf, Matt Frattin, Casey Bailey, Ryan Rupert and Cody Donaghey in exchange for Jared Cowen, Colin Greening, Milan Michálek, Tobias Lindberg and a 2nd-round draft pick in 2017.

Dion Phaneuf was brought to Toronto in a big 7-player swap with Calgary back in 2010. I enjoyed his Leafs debut from the 3rd row.

Today, Phaneuf is a 30-year old with five years remaining on a seven-year contract he signed two seasons ago worth an average annual value of $7 million. Quite simply, he had to go.

I never hated him the way many Leafs fans did, but I understand where that anger comes from. He was our captain, paid to be a top pairing defenseman, but failing to deliver on the promise of either. It's time to move on....

Update:

On episode 74 of my podcast, Jeff Marek told me what went wrong for Dion in Toronto. Here's that short 1:45 clip.


Discuss "Dion Phaneuf Traded to Sens" (16 comments so far)


Why Raptors Fans are Showing Restraint

The Toronto Raptors have won 14 of their last 15 games. They're doing it as a team, they're doing it on the road, they're doing it with defense and they're doing it without DeMarre Carroll. But make no mistake, this team is doing it.

Why Raptors Fans are Showing Restraint

The Raps are only 2 games behind the Cavs in the Eastern Conference, and as exciting as it's been, we fans are showing great restraint. This team will be judged by one thing and one thing only, and that's success in the playoffs.

The Raptors have never won a best-of-seven playoff round. Never. This team was built to change that, but proof is in the pudding. Winning one round is essential, but it's going to take at least two to satisfy fans.

It all starts in mid-April. Until then, continue to show restraint.

Discuss "Why Raptors Fans are Showing Restraint" (7 comments so far)


Uninstall the Facebook App from your Smart Phone

I recently uninstalled the Facebook app from my Android phone, and all is well. In fact, things are better than ever. The Facebook app is a serious strain on the battery, even when you're not using it.

It turns out the mobile version of the Facebook website is just as good as the app. So I created a shortcut on my phone to the page for my custom Facebook list, which also allows me to conveniently bypass the Facebook algorithm. I highly recommend this, you can see more here.

So with a shortcut to the custom list page on facebook.com instead of the app, it's not only easier on my battery, it elimnates the need to install a second Facebook app for the Messenger. Easy peasy.

2016-02-08_11-12-21

Discuss "Uninstall the Facebook App from your Smart Phone" (10 comments so far)


Good! Let Others Have the Points

Last season was the first time in my life that I rooted for Maple Leaf losses, and I didn't start doing that until the second half of the season. I hated it.

This year, I'm finding it much easier. At this point, unless my son wants to watch the game with me, I don't even tune in. I scoreboard watch. Often I don't even check until the next morning, and when I see a Leafs loss, I'm happy. When I see a Leafs win, I'm disappointed.

Last night, on Twitter, I saw a number of Leaf fans embarrassed by the effort in Ottawa. Many, apparently, wanted the two points. This was me:

meme

This season, the goal is as high a draft pick as possible. Let others collect the points.

Discuss "Good! Let Others Have the Points" (8 comments so far)


Daily Photo: New Boom Mic Swing Arms

2016-02-06_01-06-12

Discuss "Daily Photo: New Boom Mic Swing Arms" (9 comments so far)


Open Mike

Welcome 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

Discuss "Open Mike" (76 comments so far)


Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 157: Ivar Hamilton

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 157In this 157th episode, Mike chats with CFNY's Ivar Hamilton about his days at the Spirit of Radio, his memories of Martin Streek, how he was responsible for the Bon Jovi banner at the ACC and what he and David Marsden are up to these days. This episode is exactly 1:44:47.

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

Become a Patron

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd and subscribe here.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

Discuss "Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 157: Ivar Hamilton" (7 comments so far)


Maurice White, Dead at 74

Maurice WhiteMaurice White was 74. He was best known as one of the founding members of the group Earth, Wind and Fire who had many hits, including "Shining Star", "That's the Way of the World", "Devotion", "Reasons", "Sing a Song", "Can't Hide Love", "Getaway", "Fantasy", "Love's Holiday", "September", "Boogie Wonderland", "After the Love Has Gone", and "Let's Groove".

Discuss "Maurice White, Dead at 74" (0 comments so far)


Birtday [sic] Parties!

Remember when I wrote about the copmputer [sic] repair shop near my home? Well, there's a new place opening a few doors down, and this one is even worse.

2016-02-03_06-55-53

That's right, the brand new signage encourages you to book your birtday [sic] party or event with them. I don't know how this one went unnoticed. It was only put up yesterday, but as of this evening, it's still there.

Discuss "Birtday [sic] Parties!" (7 comments so far)


RØDE PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arms for the Toronto Mike'd Podcast Studio

Toronto Mike'd listeners know I've been threatening to buy a couple of microphone boom arms for some time. My RØDE microphones require that the speaker be right on them, and it's not always the most comfortable position for a guest. Boom arms will allow a guest to lean back and get comfy, while staying on the mic.

Today, I picked up a pair of RØDE PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arms. Here they are.

2016-02-03_10-48-00

I love it when a plan comes together...

Discuss "RØDE PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arms for the Toronto Mike'd Podcast Studio" (3 comments so far)


The New Leafs Logo

When I first learned the Maple Leafs were going to change the logo for next season, I had one simple request: stick to history.

Last night, the new logo was unveiled.

newlogo.jpg-large

I liked it right away. It reminds me a great deal of the old 50s logo on the front of my old heritage jersey. I love that logo!

The Hip @ Fort York

So I'm happy, because they didn't fuck it up. Are you happy with the new Leafs logo? Do you care?

Discuss "The New Leafs Logo" (14 comments so far)


Bill Carroll's Leaving Talk Radio AM640 for Newstalk 580 CFRA in Ottawa

I tweeted this news yesterday, but only a handful seemed to notice. So it's time to kick it old school with a blog entry.

Bill Carroll's contract at KFI AM 640 in Los Angeles recently lapsed and this Friday will be his last day at Talk Radio AM640 here in Toronto.He's moving on to another gig, although not in Toronto. He'll be heard on Newstalk 580 CFRA in Ottawa.

It was a little over three years ago that Bill Carroll announced his return to Toronto radio. I know him best as host of Barometer on Q107 back in the day, but he also spent time at the old TALK 640 and 1010 CFRB.

When a Bill Carroll fan page on Facebook picked up my tweet earlier today, Bill's wife Sylvie Lapointe all but confirmed the news.

bill

Update:

Here's audio of Bill Carroll signing off for the last time.

Discuss "Bill Carroll's Leaving Talk Radio AM640 for Newstalk 580 CFRA in Ottawa" (90 comments so far)


Michelle's Snowman: December 29, 2015 - February 3, 2016

On December 29, it snowed. You may remember this snowfall as it was very, very wet. With my youngest obsessed with Olaf from Frozen, my daughter was determined to make him a snowman.

I helped her make a soaking wet snowman and snapped the photo below. The next day, it got awfully cold, and this snowman turned to rock solid ice.

2015-12-29_09-43-51

Somehow, this ice snowman survived longer than any other snowman in the neighbourhood. Even during unseasonably warm January days Michelle's snowman held on. Her snowman very well may be the last surviving snowman in the city of Toronto.

I took the photo below yesterday. There's no way Michelle's snowman will survive tomorrow's high of 14°C.

2016-02-01_05-13-01

Farewell, snowman. You'll be missed.

Discuss "Michelle's Snowman: December 29, 2015 - February 3, 2016" (2 comments so far)


Think outside the boardroom: Corporate event ideas

There was a time when corporate events meant nothing more than gathering the relevant parties around a boardroom table and hammering out the points of the meeting. These days, corporate events are designed to build rapport amongst departments, to foster team-building skills, and to just plain have fun with each other! It has been shown that employees that can get along with each other on a personal level will be more productive in the workplace, having more of a teamwork mindset rather than an us-vs.-them mentality. So, what kinds of activities can you do with your employees as corporate events? Corporate event ideas abound these days.

Test your skills in an escape room!
Escape rooms are all the rage these days. Basically, your team is locked in a mocked-up room and charged with the task of getting out. Through team work and a pooling of skills, your corporate team will figure out clues and decode their way out of the room before the clock runs out.  They’ll even have a little fun a long the way, too.

Join a sports team
Sports is another great way to foster teamwork amongst your employees. Whether it’s golf, soft ball or dodgeball, playing a team sport helps to encourage team members to work together toward a common goal. And a little healthy competition against other teams (or between departments!) never hurt anyone either.

A corporate picnic
Getting the family involved is another fantastic way to keep your team strong. One of the best ways to do that is to host a corporate family picnic. This can be in a local park or other greenspace, anywhere where coworkers and their families can enjoy the great outdoors while spending time together. Make it a potluck and share a meal while you spend time together outside of the confines of the office.

Bowling night
It may seem so “back in the day,” but bowling is actually enjoying a bit of a resurgence. And with the proliferation of places to go these days where you can not only bowl and enjoy a few drinks, but also enjoy a game or two of laser tag (also a great corporate team-building activity) or hit up the arcade, bowling alleys are a great option for your corporate event. Divide into teams and have some healthy competition.  Winner gets a trophy and some serious bragging rights!

Take a cooking class
Few activities on this list require more teamwork than cooking classes. Many places offer classes that are specifically designed to be corporate team-building activities. Having to read and interpret a recipe, prepare ingredients and come up with a dish that resembles something one would want to eat can be the perfect exercise in collaboration.  And the best part is, your team will get to enjoy the fruits of its labours at the end of the night!

If you are looking for team-building corporate event ideas, this list is just the tip of the iceberg. What you choose should bear in the mind the demographic of your team, their preferences, abilities and comfort level, and what your end goal is. From there, the possibilities are virtually endless!

Discuss "Think outside the boardroom: Corporate event ideas" (0 comments so far)


« January 2016 March 2016 »

Want more Toronto Mike blog entries? Visit the archives.