January 2005 Archives

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Taryn's Shows and Taryn's Shows Only

A TelevisionI noticed the majority of my entries today are about television so I'm continuing this trend by sharing the five shows Taryn watches alone because I won't watch them with her.

  • The Bachelorette
  • Gilmore Girls
  • 7th Heaven
  • Everybody Loves Raymond
  • Joan of Arcadia

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The Monday Shuffle

The Winamp LogoEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in Winamp and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten tunes I heard today.

  1. Stone Temple Pilots - Hello It's Late
  2. Barenaked Ladies - The Old Apartment
  3. Alanis Morisette - Hand In My Pocket
  4. Eminem - Curtains Up
  5. The Who - Magic Bus
  6. Queens Of The Stone Age - Another Love Song
  7. Incubus - Wish You Were Here
  8. David Bowie - Golden Years
  9. The Beatles - If I Fell
  10. Byther Smith - I Don't Like To Travel

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Why I Still Watch

Homer Jay SimpsonAs previously declared, I won't miss a new episode of "The Simpsons". I've been watching for half my life and I'll continue watching until Matt Groening pulls the plug.

Here we are in season sixteen and I can see the ratings slipping. I'm frequently told that "The Simpsons" is no longer funny and I should have stopped watching years ago. I was watching last night and would be the first to suggest it wasn't a particularly strong episode. Still, I watch and will continue to watch, and here's why.

Although past it's prime and not nearly as consistent as it was throughout its first ten seasons, a new episode of "The Simpsons" continues to provide that one scene, line or sequence that causes me to laugh out loud. Even yesterday there were moments that I'm still recalling, still thinking about with a smile on my face. When I tune in on Sunday nights, I know I'm not in store for an episode from season four or five. I'm a realist. One brilliant send-up in an episode of "The Simpsons" in season sixteen provides me with enough joy to carry me through a typical week. Sometimes I'm witness to an uneven episode like last night's "Mommie Beerest" and sometimes I'm rewarded with a gem like "Midnight Rx".

We're fast approaching episode #350 and I'm not going anywhere. "The Simpsons" in season 16 isn't as good as "The Simpsons" circa season six but it's still a pleasure to watch and one of the funniest programs on TV. In Homer I trust.

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What I'm Watching Tonight

A TelevisionThere are a couple of programs I'm looking forward to watching tonight.

First, at 20:30 EST on CTV, it's the first of Kevin Smith's three-episode story arc on "Degrassi: The Next Generation". A love triangle between Joey, Caitlin and Smith? Cool...

Then, at 21:00 EST on CBC, I'm looking forward to "Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire" on the "Passionate Eye". Former UN General Roméo Dallaire returns to Rwanda 10 years after the genocide to confront the memories that continue to haunt him. This is must-see-TV.

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Milk Bags

EdiblesI never realized that how we purchase milk was viewed so peculiarly by those outside of Canada. We've always purchased milk in three bags totalling 4 litres. When one bag is finished it gets recycled and we drop another bag in the pitcher. Here are the steps involved for those unaware of what I'm talking about.

I suppose bagged milk would sound strange to someone who had only ever seen milk sold in cartons or jugs. After three decades of bagging it, I can't imagine buying milk in any other format.

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

A Movie ReelEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: 8 out of 10.

"How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! The world forgetting, by the world forgot. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd". ~ Alexander Pope

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Both Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet were excellent, there was great direction from Michel Gondry and a very cool screenplay by Charlie Kaufman. When Carrey underplays characters like he does here, he's awesome. It's quite the performance.

It's funny, but my reaction to this flick is pretty much what I expected to get out of "Garden State". Maybe I'm just getting old...

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St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Cleveland Barons 2

The Blue and White Maple LeafMikael Tellqvist stopped 40 of the Cleveland Barons 42 shots while his counterpart, Dimitri Patzold made a costly mistake. Down 2-1 to the Leafs, Patzold went behind the net to play a dump in but inadvertently left the puck for St. John's forward, Jeremy Williams, who wheeled around and stuffed the puck into the empty net. The Leafs went 7-4-1 during their franchise record 12 game road trip, not bad at all.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
58 points
3-2 Win vs. Cleveland
3-2 Win vs. Cleveland
3-2 Loss vs. Hershey
David Ling - 54 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 50 pts
Matt Stajan - 35 pts

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I'm beginning to believe it."
      - Clarence Darrow

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Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

I wait for your links (most are awesome), but todays was sheer crap. That wasn't music & seeing your choices with your mp3 collection, most of it is not music to my ears. Where has the combination of lyrics, harmonies & music gone, not the jive S**t that our kids listen to. Fortunately one of my kids would rather listen to Simon & Garfunkel, Beatles, Pink Floyd to relate lyrics & music together as one. An oldie but a GOODIE. Keep on ROCKIN' (60's-80's).

      Twins from Bolton

Here's the thing about my collection of MP3s...they're mine. I don't care if nobody else enjoys a note. Earlier today I shared System of Down's "Cigaro", a great new single that leaked onto the web from one of my favourite bands. Perhaps it's time you start TwinsFromBolton.com where all music referenced will be right up your ally.

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Obtrusive Flash Ads From Bell

Thumbs DownMario Lemieux is using the new math. He says the chances of settling the NHL lockout in time to save part of the 2004-05 season are "50-50." I know this because I read it on this TSN.ca page. I almost didn't stick around though because my browsing was rudely interrupted by an obtrusive flash ad from Bell.

The days of pop-up windows may be long gone but this form of ad is just as annoying. The damn thing automatically forces itself over the text you're trying to read and just when you move your mouse to the tiny x to shut it down it moves again forcing you to miss and open the friggin Bell page. Shame on TSN.ca for resorting to such shifty practices and shame on Bell for thinking this might actually have a positive effect on somebody. Of course, Bell owns TSN.ca and therefore can shoulder all the blame for this one.

I'm adding this to my growing list of reasons to hate Bell and I'm putting TSN.ca on probation. If this continues, I'll become a Sportsnet.ca guy. Just watch me.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DaySystem of Down's "Cigaro" - Fellow fans of System of a Down, I share with you their new single. "Mesmerize/Hypnotize" is coming soon but this is a sweet taste that should tide us over. It's the kind of awesome mania you'd expect from this killer band. I can't wait to get my mitts on "Mesmerize/Hypnotize".

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The 2005 Oscar Prediction Contest

An Academy AwardAs I did last year, I'm hosting an Oscar prediction contest. Anyone can enter by completing this form. You have until 20:00 EST on Friday, February 25 to submit your picks. I'll post everyone's selections later that evening.

What's the prize you're wondering? The winner of this contest will be announced and celebrated in this public space. What's better than public praise?

Make your predictions. You only have four weeks left.

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Not Going To Disney World

The NFL LogoFor the first time in 19 years, the MVP of the Super Bowl will not proclaim he's going to Disney World. The campaign kicked off in 1987 with Super Bowl MVP Phil Simms and that phrase has been utterred after ever championship since, until now.

Was Mickey frightened away by a certain wardrobe malfunction? His lips are sealed. If you're curious, here's a list of the people who participated in the "Disney World" campaign since its inception.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Cleveland Barons 2

The Blue and White Maple LeafIt went to another shootout last night but this time David Ling, Harold Druken and Kyle Wellwood made good and gave us the win. Tonight marks the end of a franchise record 12 game road trip.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
56 points
3-2 Win vs. Cleveland
3-2 Loss vs. Hershey
4-3 Loss vs. Binghamton
David Ling - 53 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 49 pts
Matt Stajan - 34 pts

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"Kids are great. You can teach them to hate what you hate and, with the Internet and all, they practically raise themselves."

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Garden State

A Movie ReelGarden State: 6 out of 10.

I couldn't wait to see this film. I have been hearing hype about it for months, about how it defines a generation and is one of the best films of 2004. I was looking forward to a well written, interesting little flick that would stick with me and bounce around in my cranium for days and days afterwards. "Garden State" left me unfulfilled and disappointed.

It's far from a bad film but it's not particularly great. It certainly doesn't live up to the hype. I kept waiting for an interesting twist or a killer scene, but it never happened. It's okay and the music is okay but considering the press Zach Braff got I expected far better.

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The Two Week Wait

The NFL LogoI'm not a fan of the two week delay between the NFL conference finals and the Super Bowl. The big game should be played this Sunday while everyone is still interested. Two weeks of preamble and hypothesis is one week too long.

If you're curious, I think the Pats will win again. This is quite the hot streak the city of Boston is on. The Patriots have won two of the past three Super Bowls, possibly three of the past four, and the Red Sox reversed the curse and won the World Series for the first time in 86 years.

Excluding the Argos, the only major championships my city has won in my life time are the back-to-back World Series championships the Jays won in the early 90s. Boston's cup runneth over and I'm green with envy.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite NBA teams

  1. Toronto Raptors
  2. Phoenix Suns
  3. Boston Celtics
  4. Sacramento Kings
  5. Seattle Supersonics

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The Nature of Time

The WTCI'm a big fan of "Fight Club". You'll find it at #5 on my list of ten favourite flicks and I've watched the DVD several times. One of my favourite scenes in this great movie is the closing shot of buildings collapsing while Jack and Marla look out the window. At least it was one of my favourite shots until that day in September 2001.

After watching the horrors of 9/11 unfold on CNN the "building-collapse" scene from "Fight Club" lost all coolness. It became difficult to watch without thinking of that day and the two towers collapsing into rubble taking thousands of lives with them. This was the case for about two years afterwards, but then, as it always does, the nature of time kicked in.

I just watched a few scenes from "Fight Club" on my PC, including that one, and I didn't think about 9/11 once. Afterwards it occurred to me that time had healed that psychological wound. We're about three and a half years removed from that act of terrorism and although I can look back and remember the overwhelming fear and sadness of the day I didn't see the World Trade Center collapsing before the eyes of Jack and Marla, I saw credit card companies crumbling to the ground setting us free.

I am Jack's broken heart. Time has soldiered on and dulled the pain.

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All Because Of You vs. Maps

A Music NoteU2's "All Because Of You" and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Maps" have very little in common. One bores me to tears and the other is one of my favourite tracks from 2004. "Maps" has more soul in one 3 second sample than "All Because Of You" has throughout. Unfortunately, there is a brief moment at the very beginning where I'm unsure whether I'm in for a treat or whether I'll have to turn the station.

The first few seconds of "All Because Of You" are eerily similar to the opening seconds of "Maps". Every day I hear this U2 single on CFNY Edge 102 and every time I think it's going to be "Maps". I'm frequently disappointed these days.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 2, Hershey Bears 3

The Blue and White Maple LeafA scoreless overtime set up the shootout that saw each team go three rounds of five shooters before Andre Savage scored on the 15th shot to give the Hershey Bears a 3-2 shootout win over the St. John's Maple Leafs. Mikael Tellqvist made eight straight shootout saves before allowing the winner. It's been a rather rough 12-game road trip for the blue and white.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
54 points
3-2 Loss vs. Hershey
4-3 Loss vs. Binghamton
4-2 Loss vs. Syracuse
David Ling - 53 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 49 pts
Matt Stajan - 33 pts

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Death on the Staircase

A TVCBC Newsworld recently aired the eight hour documentary "Death on the Staircase" over a period of six nights. We taped the entire series and were riveted for every minute of these eight hours. Jean-Xavier de Lestrade had complete access to the primary players and minute details of this murder mystery and put together a masterpiece.

I will say little about this case in case it airs again and you decide to invest your time in this gem. I'm emotionally drained from the entire ordeal, trial and verdict. I still can't believe it wasn't scripted and no names were changed to protect the innocent guilty involved.

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Why The Junos Will Rock

The Tragically HipThey've announced the first two performers for this year's 34th Annual Juno Awards ceremony and they're two of my favourites. The Tragically Hip and Neil Young will perform live and suddenly I'm quite interested. Between the two artists I have 21 discs in my collection.

I'll be watching the Juno Awards live on CTV on Sunday, April 3, from the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.

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A Good Start

Film ReelFamous Players will chop the price of tickets at its movie theatres in the Greater Toronto Area by $4 starting this Friday. The cut will reduce the price of an adult ticket from $13.95 to $9.95.

This is a very good start. $14 for a ticket to see a movie was insane. $10 is a little more reasonable, although this will result in the end of discount Tuesdays. Lets hope Cineplex Odeon theatres follow suit.

Now if they'd only do something about the $15 popcorn and pop...

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Weekly MP3

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Otis Redding - The Dock Of The Bay
Last week I shared Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" and mentioned it would be amongst my ten favourite songs of all time. Another song that would be a shoe-in to appear on that list is Otis Redding's beauty "The Dock of the Bay". If you ever need to chill, this is the tune for the job.

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Saying Goodbye to Carlos

A BaseballCarlos Delgado has agreed to a $52-million US, four-year contract with the Florida Marlins. We've known for months that Delgado would be signing with another team for the 2005 season, but this announcement makes it final.

Delgado spent 11 years with the Jays and leaves as the all-time club leader in home runs, RBIs, runs scored, doubles and slugging percentage. He hit at least 30 homers each of the past eight seasons and has the season record for every formidable slugging statistic except home runs which still belongs to my old favourite George Bell. I loved watching him play. He was awesome, he was an interesting guy and he always seemed to go deep when I was at Skydome.

I'm sorry economic reality has ended his time here, but I'll still root for him. He was something special. I'm just glad James got a chance to see him homer before it was too late.

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And The Nominees Are...

An Academy AwardThe 77th annual Oscar nominations were announced earlier this morning. For a complete list, go here. The major noms are below.

Best Picture

  • The Aviator
  • Finding Neverland
  • Million Dollar Baby
  • Ray
  • Sideways

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Don Cheadle - Hotel Rwanda
  • Johnny Depp - Finding Neverland
  • Leonardo DiCaprio - The Aviator
  • Clint Eastwood - Million Dollar Baby
  • Jamie Foxx - Ray

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Annette Bening - Being Julia
  • Catalina Sandino Moreno - Maria Full of Grace
  • Imelda Staunton - Vera Drake
  • Hilary Swank - Million Dollar Baby
  • Kate Winslet - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

The Academy Award nominations were announced this morning. Is it me or is everyone a little underwhelmed by the quality of the best movies of 2004? I remember when Shawshank, Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump battled in 1994. I remember when Philadelphia battled with Schindler's List in 1993. I haven't been truly impressed with a year at the movies since 1999 when Fight Club, Magnolia, and American Beauty all dazzled me. Have I raised my expectations or has Hollywood let me down?


I agree with you 100%. I miss the days when you had to see a particular movie. We had to see Pulp Fiction, we had to see Forrest Gump, we didn't have an option. I can take or leave the nominated movies these days. They're fine, but they're not intriguing enough to get me to a theater to blow that kind of cashola.

On a related note, I'll post the nominated pictures in a moment and I'll host an Oscar prediction contest anyone can enter.

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30% Ignorance

A Question MarkAccording to a recent survey, three out of every 10 respondents failed to identify that Jews were the primary victims of the Holocaust. This stat has been released to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

This is sad but not difficult to believe. What I find shocking is the fact amongst university graduates only 72% chose Jews as the principal victims of the Holocaust. Not only does this eliminates the teens who have yet to care about anything that didn't happen within the past year but it's a sect of people who supposedly care for knowledge and have spent a good deal of time being educated. How is it possible that only 72% of university graduates in Canada know Jews were the primary victims of the Holocaust?

That's pathetic. You'd expect the number to be higher simply because of movies like "Schindler's List", "The Pianist" and "Life is Beautiful". Shame on us.

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The Entire SLS Database

SLSI've updated and reformatted my copy of the SLS database. I list every song ever to appear on an edition of SLS in alphabetical order and reference the edition it appeared on.

From 311 to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, it's all there...including a few I'd rather forget.

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The Monday Shuffle

The Winamp LogoEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in Winamp and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten tunes I heard today.

  1. System of a Down - Toxicity
  2. Johnny Cash - I Walk The Line
  3. Tool - Undertow
  4. Nirvana - Aneurysm
  5. Junior Parker - Drivin' Wheel
  6. Blur - For Tomorrow
  7. Janis Joplin - Mercedes Benz
  8. Green Day - Brat
  9. Guns N' Roses - Patience
  10. Soundgarden - The Day I Tried To Live

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Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

Mike! Long time no chat. Good to see your site is running good. Well, now that all the chit chat is through ;) I'll get right down to business:

I'm glad Vince was traded. Ever since that last second playoff loss a few years ago Vince hasn't been the same player. He went through Nick Anderson syndrome. (aka - completely disappears from the face of the basketball universe) He turned soft. Yes, the coaching changes have something to do with it, and yes, the personnel changes might have had an influence as well. But the fact remains that (as he said) Vince simply stopped trying. I saw it coming for a long time and constantly called VC a "Bi**h" because he deserved it. Loyal fans defended him feversihly and I could not understand how their love could be so unconditional to a person who gave his best conditionally. Instead of playing hard and getting his team back to where they belonged he started complaining about hangnails and officiating. I hate to be an I TOLD YOU SO .... but I told y'all so. In my opinion, all his injuries the last 2 years or so were a cover up so that he could simply not try his best. I don't think there was a single injury that he could not have played through. Hell, in my men's league and other similar beer leagues across North America, lesser players suffer more serious injuries and simply play through it for the love of the game. And that is the difference between many NBA players and true sports fans like us. A love of the game. Where we see drama and passion, players like Vince see dollar signs, dollar signs and more dollar signs.

The city of Toronto ... and Canada, deserve better out of a franchise basketball player who is idolized by an entire country. Yes there will be rough times right away, but if the team adopts a Chris Bosh passionate attitude as opposed to Vince's sobbing demeanor they will be back in the playoffs sooner than later.

On a personal note, I'm involved in a basketball pool. And now that Vince is playing better, people have begun to pick him up. I thought about it for about a minute. But based on principle, I'd rather LOSE the pool than add Vince to my team.

Whew, I'll let someone else have the soapbox now.


The entire attitude of this Raptors team has changed for the better with the deletion of that virus. It's Chris Bosh's team now and we're better off for it. Don't look now but we're 7-3 in our last ten games, 1.5 games out of first in the division and a full two games up on Vince's Nets. Perhaps there will be playoff games at the ACC this spring after all.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayBunny Suicides - Several of these actually caused me to laugh aloud.

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Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

Here you go Mike, just had to share this with you. :)


      Mike H.

Good link. Judy Bachrach takes a nice play out of the Jon Stewart handbook. "Stop hurting America".

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Melancholy Monday

Thumbs DownAccording to Cliff Arnall of Cardiff University in Wales, today is the most depressing day of the year.

His formula reads: 1/8W+(D-d) 3/8xTQ divided by MxNA, where W is the weather, D is your debt (and small d is the amount of money you'll get on your next payday), T is elapsed time since Christmas, and Q the length of time since you abandoned a New Year's resolution or other self-improvement plan. M is a sort of all-purpose category for motivation levels. NA is the necessary action for making your life better.

On the bright side, tomorrow will be a better day.

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. One is from James' actual birthday and the other three are from his party.

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Michelle's First Tooth

A SootherThis morning we saw Michelle's first tooth. There's a little white nub emerging from her gums in the front on the bottom. The purpose of this entry is to archive the date so we'll always remember she cut her first tooth a week before turning six months old.

James, meanwhile, had a blast at his birthday party yesterday. I should have a picture or two to share later today.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumJohnny Carson was 79. He was host of the "Tonight Show" for thirty years.

While the rest of the continent remembers Johnny Carson from late night TV, I know him best for his guest appearance on episode 9F19 of The Simpsons, "Krusty Gets Kancelled". When Krusty went looking for tips on how to deal with leaving the world of television, he visited Johnny Carson. Carson participated in The Krusty Comeback Special going so far as to juggle an automobile. At the conclusion of the episode, Bart proposes a toast "To Krusty, the greatest entertainer in the world. Except for that guy." He's pointing to Carson, tap-dancing and playing "Good Night Ladies" and The Simpsons theme on the accordion while balancing a board on his head atop which sit Grampa and Jasper. Good night, Johnny.

By the way, Steve drafted him in our Dead Pool and has been rewarded with 21 points. That puts him only 47 points behind Ryan for the lead.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Binghamton Senators 4

The Blue and White Maple LeafThe Maple Leafs lost a close one to the Sens last night as Jason Spezza scored twice to lead Binghamton. The win tied the Senators' franchise record for most consecutive victories and marked the first time Binghamton defeated the Leafs this season.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
53 points
4-3 Loss vs. Binghamton
4-2 Loss vs. Syracuse
4-2 Win vs. Hershey
David Ling - 51 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 47 pts
Matt Stajan - 33 pts

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XHTML 1.0 Strict

W3C Valid XHTML IconThis site has been hand coded in valid XHTML 1.0 for quite some time now, but it was XHTML 1.0 Transitional. Yesterday I changed my DOCTYPE declaration and tweaked each page so it's now valid XHTML 1.0 Strict. See for yourself!

Because I was already writing in valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional it wasn't that big a leap. Mainly I just had to move my image alignment and hspace into the CSS where it belongs. CSS is a wonderful thing.

In September 2003 I converted these page to XHTML 1.0 Transitional and now I've converted them to XHTML 1.0 Strict so where do I take them next?

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"Wilma, I promise you; whatever scum did this, not one man on this force will rest one minute before until he's behind bars. Now, let's grab a bite to eat."
      - Lt. Frank Drebin, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

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The NBA LogoLenny Wilkens is likely to resign this week as head coach of the New York Knicks. The Knicks have lost nine of their last ten games to drop to third place in our awful Atlantic Division.

I hated Wilkens when he was coaching the Raptors. I was shocked when the Knicks hired him a year ago and wrote this entry in which I openly laughed at Knicks fans. I was 100% certain that this hiring was a huge mistake and I couldn't wait until he was run out of town.


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Free Stanley

The Stanley CupUnwilling to wait for it to become official, I cancelled the 2004/2005 NHL season back on Christmas Eve. I'm glad I did as its given me a period of time to accept what I cannot control. Any day now Gary Bettman will call a press conference and explain to this country that we can forget about a Stanley Cup playoffs this spring.

Lord Stanley's sacred mug has been awarded every year since 1893 except for 1919 when Spanish influenza interfered. It's one thing for the NHL to shut their doors but it's another to keep The Stanley Cup locked away until this lock out ends. Rod Payne, a lawyer from Edmonton, is fighting this cause on our behalf. He believes the Cup was decreed a challenge cup by its donator, Lord Stanley, and that the NHL shouldn't have control over it. It's a long shot, but wouldn't it be wonderful if The Stanley Cup was still awarded this year. FreeStanley.com is sharing Payne's 13-page legal opinion on the matter as well as more information on this worthy cause.

Life is too short for me to curse out Bettman and Bob Goodenow on a daily basis. If these pricks and their selfish motives wish to deny me and my loved ones our favourite pasttime, so be it. Life goes on, we'll adapt and we will persevere. Freeing Stanley, however, is the right thing to do. God speed Mr. Panye. God speed.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 2, Syracuse Crunch 4

The Blue and White Maple LeafThe Maple Leafs blew a 2-0 lead as Mark Hartigan scored a hat trick to lead the Syracuse Crunch to a 4-2 win last night.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
53 points
4-2 Loss vs. Syracuse
4-2 Win vs. Hershey
6-2 Loss vs. Milwaukee
David Ling - 50 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 44 pts
Matt Stajan - 32 pts

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"When are people going to learn? Democracy doesn't work."

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Chatting With Custom

EmailEarlier today I mentioned that Custom had left a comment on the SLS page for his hit "Hey Mister", which appeared on SLS7. Although I was fairly certain it was legitimate, I wrote him an email to be certain.

It's the real deal. Custom, or Duane Lavold as he signs his emails, and I exchanged emails throughout the day and it turns out he's a very cool guy. He thought the whole SLS concept was awesome and complimented our taste in tunage. After reading the SLS guide he wrote me the following.

it's really cool what you are doing for music. as the standard bullshit big label thing is crumbling services like yours are going to be more and more important. i think if the audience listens to real music lovers for advice about what to listen to it's a much better source than which label pays the most. let's discuss more later...

What's even cooler is his promise to send me a rough mix or two of the songs he's working on for his new album.

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Proof Dubya is the Anti-Christ

The American FlagThe Associated Press has released a couple of photos from this week's inauguration that prove Dubya is indeed the anti-christ. As with all AP photos, these are undoctored.

Dubya salutes Satan, his evil superior
Dubya's daughter Jenna follows suit and also salutes Beelzebub

I've suspected as much for a long time now. The prince of darkness is truly in command.

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SLSA comment was left early this morning on our SLS page for Custom's "Hey Mister". It appears to be from Custom himself and it appears to be legitimate. Here's what he wrote.

this is custom. i fell apon this site. i live in new york and am from canada. thanks for all the nice comments. my new record is finished and should be coming out in the spring. we are redoing the website and it should be up soon as well. teamcustom.com

He even provided his aol.com (poor guy) email address and I've written him to ensure we're not being duped. The post was made from Austin, Texas and I suspect it's the real deal. It's easy to find our page considering we're #2 in Google when you search custom hey mister.

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The Friday Five

FiveMy favourite television series filmed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  1. The Kids in the Hall
  2. Degrassi Junior High
  3. Degrassi: The Next Generation
  4. King of Kensington
  5. Puppets Who Kill

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayA Muppet Movie - I can't explain what this is exactly, but I liked it so much I've watched it three times now. It's chilling and mesmerizing all at once.

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Pieces vs. Zombie

A Music NoteThe latest single from Sum 41 is "Pieces" and it's currently receiving plenty of airplay on your local new rock station. The next time you hear it, think about The Cranberries' "Zombie". The music is eerily similar.

Did you know The Cranberries released a greatest hits album a couple of years back entitled Stars: The Best of the Cranberries, 1992-2002? I learned that little nugget when I hit the web to figure out whatever happened to this Irish band. Zombie was is a very cool tune.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumLamont Bentley was 31. He starred as Hakeem Campbell on the UPN sitcom "Moesha".

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SpongeBob Controversy

Thumbs DownUS conservative groups are funny. They're always good for a chuckle on a cold Thursday morning.

Their latest target is SpongeBob Squarepants who they claim is corrupting our youth. SpongeBob Squarepants, you see, occasionally holds hands with his male friend Patrick, a definite no-no in conservative circles. Now they're appearing in a video intended to help teach children the values of co-operation and unity. "We see the video as an insidious means by which the organization is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids," Paul Batura, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, told the New York Times.

Lock up your kids! SpongeBob Squarepants is promoting co-operation and unity! Heaven forbid.

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Happy Birthday James!

A Bunch of BalloonsJames won't be able to read this today, but I'm going to write it anyway.

Son, you're three years old today. Sweet Baby James has come and gone and now you're a full-fledged little boy. I love it when you make silly faces and tell me jokes to make me laugh. I love it when you bring toys to Michelle when she's upset and gently touch her cheeks to soothe her. I love it when your little voice tells me you love me and then you give me a hug, then a bigger hug and then the biggest hug in the whole world. I love it when you sing me songs, read me stories about the Bear in the Big Blue House and tell me about your day. I love listening in on your your elaborate games involving trucks, dinosaurs and teddy bears. I love seeing you happy, I love hearing you laugh and I couldn't be more proud.

I love you James. I hope you have a great third birthday. You're perfect.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Hershey Bears 2

The Blue and White Maple LeafMatt Stajan scored two goals and added an assist while Mikael Tellqvist made 41 saves as the Baby Leafs broke their mini losing streak with a victory over the Hershey Bears yesterday.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
53 points
4-2 Win vs. Hershey
6-2 Loss vs. Milwaukee
4-1 Loss vs. Chicago
David Ling - 48 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 42 pts
Matt Stajan - 32 pts

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Ice Cold Transition

Movie ReelI saw a commercial tonight for "Are We There Yet?", a new PG movie that's safe enough for the whole family. It stars Ice Cube. Ice Cube?!?!?! WTF?

Is that the same Ice Cube I grew up listening to? He was a badass mofo writing songs like "F*ck Tha Police" for N.W.A. before going solo with more hardcore controversy in his rhymes about his life and times. I was a fan of his music and his breakthrough acting role in "Boyz n the Hood", none of which was rated PG, safe enough for the whole family.

What's next, Ice-T as the conductor on "Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends"?

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Weekly MP3

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World
I'd like to compose a list of my ten favourite songs of all time. There are hundreds of songs I absolutely love so whittling them down to a top ten would be no small feat. It could take months.

When I'm ready to unveil my ten favourite songs of all time you can be sure this one will appear. I wrote about Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" in this tale from the Ex and what it meant to me as a teen. This is an absolutely perfect rendition of a most beautiful song.

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Jump Around

A RadioPeriodically CFNY Edge 102 will start to play a tune that they completely ignored when first released. This happened recently when they began playing Eminem's "My Name Is" in the fall. When this happens it's usually a song that would have been regarded as off-genre at the time of release, more often than not a hip-hop song by a white artist. This time it's "Jump Around" by House of Pain.

Over the past ten days I've heard "Jump Around" on CFNY Edge 102 at least five times, including this morning. Over the previous thirteen years since the release of their debut album I don't think I heard it spun once. It's a good tune, it's too bad they didn't have the guts to play it when it was current.

For fun, below are the dated references in "Jump Around" that may go over the head of the average teen listening to CFNY Edge 102.

  • "I'll serve your ass like John McEnroe" - It's unlikely kids today even know McEnroe played tennis. If they know him at all it's from his failed ventures into television and perhaps as a tennis commentator.
  • "Or better yet a terminator, Like Arnold Schwarzenegger" - Thanks to Terminator 3, kids will get this reference to the current Governor of California. Note to self: remove from this list.
  • "Try'n to play me out like as if my name was Sega" - I suppose this reference is still relevant because Sega continues to produce popular video games but you know they were talking about the ol' Sega console.

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Spanish Influenza

The Stanley CupThe Grey Cup is sacred to Canadians but The Stanley Cup is Canada. In 1919, with the Montreal Canadiens and Seattle Metropolitans tied up in the Stanley Cup final, several players contracted Spanish influenza. When one of those afflicted died, a decision was made to cancel the series.

From 1893 through 2003 that year remains the only year in which The Stanley Cup was not presented. It took a worldwide epidemic for that anomaly to occur. 1919 was 86 years ago.

There's a natural conclusion to this entry but I'd rather not state the obvious. This is one Canadian with a red and white tear streaming down his left eye. You know what happens next.

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For Sale

The CFL LogoI hate reading stories like this. According to the Toronto Star, the CFL is discussing the concept of selling the naming rights to the Grey Cup. Our sacred Grey Cup, apparently, is for sale.

I'll be outraged if it becomes the Molson Grey Cup, Tim Hortons Grey Cup or RBC Grey Cup. It's vital that it remain The Grey Cup plain and simple. I don't even like the idea of The Grey Cup being presented by a conglomerate, although that's an easier pill to swallow.

Everything, it seems, has a price including Lord Earl Grey's 1909 rugby trophy. That sucks.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumVirginia Mayo was 84. She was the stunning blond actress who brought beauty and romance to films of the 1940s and 1950s with such co-stars as James Cagney, Bob Hope, Gregory Peck, Danny Kaye and Ronald Reagan.

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Sugar-Free Bubble Gum

A Question MarkThere is a shortage of sugar-free bubble gum in Toronto. There's plenty of sugar-free gum, but none that was designed to blow a good bubble. I'm looking for the pink stuff, bubble gum as opposed to chewing gum.

In the past few weeks I've visited several stores that would carry this product were it available. I've been to Walmart, Shopper's Drug Mart, Hy & Zels, Loblaws, No Frills, Dominion and Basics. Every store sells regular bubble gum and sugar-free chewing gum but a stick of sugar-free bubble gum was nowhere to be found.

You see, I love gum. I often chew chlorophyll sugar-free gum from Excel but at night I prefer bubble gum. Am I the last person in Toronto interested in blowing bubbles without rotting my teeth?

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumRuth Warrick was 88. She was the darling of the daytime soap opera "All My Children" who launched her career in Orson Welles' all-time classic "Citizen Kane".

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Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

30 years ago our family used to order pizza from Vesuvios & it was the 2nd best pizza in town. However, Florida Pizza (used to be located on Eglinton Ave. W. between Keele & Caledonia) had the best ever. Vesuvios was 2nd to Florida. When my wife & I bought our 1st house in T.O. 20 yrs ago we used to order from Vesuvios all the time & you are right. I would pay anything to get them to deliver a hot fresh pizza to Bolton.

My kids don't know what they are missing.

      Twins' Dad from Bolton

I've never tried Florida Pizza but I might have to now. If it's much better than Vesuvio's I might implode due to sensory overload.

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My MP3s Updated

A Shiny CDI've added nine new CDs to my MP3 collection. The new additions are Pink Floyd's "The Wall Part 1" and "The Wall Part 2", Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' "No More Shall We Part" and "The Boatman's Call", The Pretenders' "Learning To Crawl", Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only The Piano Player", INXS' "Kick" and R.E.M.'s "Automatic For The People".

That's 588 complete albums and 8857 songs. Check it out.

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Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

I'll keep this one quick. I was recently speaking with my brother's about how wierd it is that you can search for certain things in google and get my bro's site as a result. It will always be funny to me when I see torontomike.com come up as a search result. But today I decided to go on to Google.ca and seach for something I read about once in a single blog entry.

When you query Vesuvio's + Pizza + Toronto , torontomike.com is the seventh hit. What a waste of time for me if I am looking for a way to order Vesuvio's online.... I seriously think that Google has the hots for torontomike.com!!!


Do not dismiss my Google taming efforts! A Google search for Vesuvio's pizza Toronto actually has me ranked number five, not number seven. Not bad for an entry that's less than a week old.

If only the perverts searching for Amber Frye pictures would give it a rest for a while. I've seen them and they're not that good.

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The Monday Shuffle

The Winamp LogoEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in Winamp and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten tunes I heard today.

  1. Blind Melon - New Life
  2. Billy Idol - L.A. Woman
  3. The Tragically Hip - Throwing Off Glass
  4. The Offspring - It'll Be A Long Time
  5. L.L. Cool J. - The Boomin' System
  6. Mountain - The Animal Trainer and the Toad
  7. The Steve Miller Band - Swingtown
  8. Pearl Jam - Porch (Live)
  9. Tori Amos - Agent Orange
  10. Johnny Cash - Tennessee Flat Top Box

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Home Sweet Home

The Toronto Raptors' LogoIn every sport there is a home field advantage, but nowhere is it greater than in the NBA. In the NBA, it's not unusual for a team to dominate at home and stink on the road. Take my Toronto Raptors, for instance.

Yesterday the Raptors trailed the New Orleans Hornets by as much as 16 points in the third quarter, but came back to win 102-99. It was their ninth win in their past ten games at the ACC. At home, the Raptors are a sweet 13-5. On the road, it's a different story all together. We've lost 11 straight and are a dismal 2-18.

If the Raps manage to win even 30% of their road games they'll win the Atlantic division. All I care is that they beat New Jersey.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 2, Milwaukee Admirals 6

The Blue and White Maple LeafThe Maple Leafs are on a mini two game slide after losing their second in as many nights. Jean-Sebastien Aubin proved he's human in a 6-2 butt kicking at the hands of the Admirals last night following a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Wolves on Saturday night. Harold Druken and Matt Stajan had the lone Leafs goals.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
51 points
6-2 Loss vs. Milwaukee
4-1 Loss vs. Chicago
3-2 Win vs. Grand Rapids
David Ling - 45 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 38 pts
Matt Stajan - 28 pts

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumZhao Ziyang was 85. He was the former prime minister of China and a reform-minded Communist Party leader who was toppled in a power struggle after the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests.

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. In an effort to be fair and balanced I'm sharing two of Michelle and two of James.

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Cable 10's Let's Talk Sports

The Rewind ButtonYesterday, my brothers and I hooked up to play a DVD version of Trivial Pursuit. I was quite looking forward to it. I love playing games of trivia and this DVD version would play clips from movies, television shows and songs before posing a question about it. That's right up my alley.

Unfortunately, the game was a bust. It kept repeating questions and when you'd select the sports category it would actually shut off completely. There were so many bugs we were forced to give up this trivial pursuit. It did, however, remind us of simpler times when we'd gather to watch a cheesy sports talk show on our local cable 10.

"Let's Talk Sports" was a weekly program airing on Rogers cable 10 in Toronto that invited viewers to call in and discuss current events in the sporting world. It was hosted by Mike Wilner and a guy named Aaron whose last name I can't recall and part of each show was a trivia question. If you called in with the right answer you won a free pizza and a great deal of personal satisfaction.

On a few occasions I got the nerve to call in. The first time I got through with the right answer they had already given away the prize so all I was left with was the personal satisfaction. Another time I got through provided my brothers with a story that has come up frequently in the twelve or so years since. I was a little nervous and opened with "Hey guys, how's it goin'?" To this day my brothers mimic my shaky and higher than usual delivery of that opening line. To make things worse, I didn't have the right answer and may have insulted Tony Fernandez in the process.

It was a cheesy show on cable 10 but it was still cool to be heard on tv. Sadly, I think more people are probably reading this now than ever heard my "Hey guys, how's it goin'?" That's probably for the best.

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free."
      - Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding, The Shawshank Redemption

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Down With Love

A Movie ReelDown With Love: 3.5 out of 10.

This movie tries to be clever by mocking romantic comedies from the 60s. It touches upon every 1960s cliche with the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the head and tops this off with one of the worst endings in the history of the cinema. Save yourself 101 minutes and skip this one. It's like an episode of Three's Company that keeps going and going and going.

I can't resist so here it comes... Down with "Down With Love"!

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Happy Anniversary To Me

Wedding RingsI'm a very lucky guy. Today I'm celebrating nine years of marriage to my girl.

At first there was just the two of us, then we added Booner, then about five years later James arrived and two years after that came Michelle. Did I say I was a very lucky guy? I should clarify that. I'm actually a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very lucky guy.

I love ya poops. Happy Anniversary.

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Cool Nina Gordon MP3s

MP3On Nina Gordon's official site she's sharing a few very cool covers as MP3s. You'll find them all here, but below are direct download links to my personal favourites.

Straight Outta Compton - A classic from NWA.
18 And Life - A guilty pleasure from my early high school years and a hit for Skid Row.

Enjoy the music.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Grand Rapids Griffins 2

The Blue and White Maple LeafPerhaps Mikael Tellqvist isn't our NHL goalie of the future. Perhaps it's Jean-Sebastien Aubin. Aubin has been awesome since coming over in a trade with Pittsburgh and last night he stopped 47 shots to lead the St. John's Maple Leafs to a 3-2 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins. That's five in a row for the baby Leafs.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
51 points
3-2 Win vs. Grand Rapids
3-2 Win vs. Edmonton
3-0 Win vs. Edmonton
David Ling - 44 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 38 pts
Matt Stajan - 27 pts

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"My wife's not some doobie to be passed around! I took a vow on our wedding day to bogart her for life."

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The Friday Five

FiveMy favourite Brad Pitt movies

  1. Fight Club
  2. Se7en
  3. Twelve Monkeys
  4. Snatch
  5. Kalifornia

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumEarl Cameron was 89. He was host of CBC's national television news from 1959 to 1966.

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It's A Good Life If You Don't Fact Check

A NewspaperLast week it was the Calgary Herald that screwed up and this time it's the Calgary Sun.

I was reading this article from the Calgary Sun about yesterday's Canada for Asia benefit concert. Sarah Kennedy writes the following sentence about The Tragically Hip's contribution.

The Tragically Hip played a song from their new album called It's a Good Life if You Don't Weaken, but frontman Gord Downie adopted a more sombre tone, cutting back on his trademark gesticulations.

Do Calgary newspapers fact check at all before going to print? Perhaps she should have consulted me before mis-representing the hauntingly beautiful "It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken". It's not from their new album. It's from In Violet Light, a couple of albums back.

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Sloan's Greatest Hits?

A Musical NoteSloan has announced they're in the studio recording tracks for their greatest hits compilation. What songs will be represented on this retrospective album is not yet known, so I'm going to take a wild stab at it and see how I fare.

If I chose the songs for Sloan's Greatest Hits, these are the tracks I'd choose, in chronological order.

  1. Underwhelmed
  2. Take It In
  3. People Of The Sky
  4. Coax Me
  5. The Good in Everyone
  6. Everything You've Done Wrong
  7. The Lines You Amend
  8. Money City Maniacs
  9. Losing California
  10. If It Feels Good Do It
  11. The Other Man
  12. The Rest Of My Life

We'll see how close I came when the tracklist is unveiled later this year.

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceSpencer Dryden was 66. He was the drummer for the Jefferson Airplane in the band's glory years, including the breakthrough 1967 album "Surrealistic Pillow" and the Woodstock festival.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

With Regard to your Jan 7th post about the weather psyche out, you mentioned that it would not hit 14 degrees celcius on Wednesday Jan 12th, and it did not. Today, one day later however, it is currently 17 degrees celcius at the corner of High Park and Dundas and I am loving it. Does this make you wrong, even though you did not specifically say that it would not reach 14 degrees celcius one day later, being today. I am guessing that it does, and I am also guessing that on Friday it will snow 2 feet before a rainbow comes out on Saturday while I go swimming in the 27 degree weather we are sure to have!!!! I LOVE T.O.!!


It's true, the weather around here lately is a bit of a roller coaster. One day it feels like spring, the next it feels like Winnipeg. Double-digit °C swings in a twenty-four hour period are insane.

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SLS13 Submissions

The Smells Like Sour LogoI've submitted a couple of tracks via the SLS home page for SLS13 consideration.

I've submitted "Not So Bright" by The Marble Index and "Feel It" by Jakalope, a couple of CanCon tunes that deserve to be considered come late June. These two tracks join "Nothing To Lose" by Billy Talent as potential SLS13 tunes. The fact all three I've submitted thus far are CanCon is completely coincidental and besides, it's early yet. Stay tuned.

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Canada for Asia

Our Beloved Canadian FlagCanada for Asia is a three-hour live concert in aid of tsunami victims taking place tonight in Toronto. You'll find it on CBC and various other networks at 19:00 EST but you can also find it on the radio on streamed over the net at CBC.ca.

It's a pretty cool line-up of Canucks giving their time for a good cause. Marquee talent scheduled to appear include The Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Kids In The Hall, Rush, Mike Myers, Bruce Cockburn, Anne Murray, Bryan Adams, Oscar Peterson, Tom Cochrane, Wayne Gretzky, Sloan, Keshia Chante, Daniel Lanois, Barenaked Ladies, Sam Roberts, , Don Cherry, WWE Superstars Edge, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho and Christian, The Trailer Park Boys, The Designer Guys, Dave Thomas, Megan Follows, Cynthia Dale, Doc Walker, Shaye, Lunch at Allen's (Murray McLauchlan/Ian Thomas/Cindy Church/Marc Jordan), Erik McCormack, David Usher, Molly Johnson, John Roberts, Eagle and Hawk, Andrea Martin, The Trews, MIR, Kevin Parent, Dr. David Suzuki, Celine Dion, John McDermott and Alex Trebek.

There are a lot of acts I really like in that list and a few I really dislike. Below are my five favourite musical artists appearing tonight.

  1. The Tragically Hip
  2. Sloan
  3. Sam Roberts
  4. Blue Rodeo
  5. Rush

Proceeds collected through the Canada for Asia benefit broadcast will go to the unprecedented partnership of World Vision, The Canadian Red Cross, UNICEF, Oxfam Canada, Care Canada, Save the Children Canada, Development and Peace and Oxfam Quebec. Watch and give.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Edmonton Road Runners 2

Go Leafs Go!Mikael Tellqvist made 24 saves in his first game since December 17 when he injured his back. David Ling continued to pace the offence with two points while Matt Stajan scored the winner. This third straight road win moves the Leafs into third place in the North Division, two points ahead of Edmonton.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
49 points
3-2 Win vs. Edmonton
3-0 Win vs. Edmonton
3-2 Win vs. Hamilton
David Ling - 43 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 37 pts
Matt Stajan - 27 pts

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Not So Bright vs. Luka

NSB vs. LI totally dig the first two singles from The Marble Index' debut album. They have a great sound my ears love. I'm still surprised they're from Hamilton.

"Not So Bright" is their awesome second single and I've been listening to it quite a bit lately. Every time I hear it, I hear Suzanne Vega's "Luka". It's as clear as a bell each and every time it starts.

What the hell ever happened to Suzanne Vega anyway?

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Holding Meteorologists Accountable

Holding Meteorologists AccountableI wrote The Long Range Psyche Out earlier in the week after seeing on the five day forecast that it was going to be 16°C today. We had been burned by these overly optimistic forecasts before and I was going to hold the meteorologists accountable this time.

It's currently 0°C in Toronto. We are, however, expected to hit 9°C before the day is through and 12°C tomorrow. 16°C won't happen, but at least they're in the right ball park. Of course, it's still 0°C so it's too early to let these meteorologists off the hook.

I'll believe tomorrow's 12°C when I feel it.

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Toronto's Best Pizza

Toronto's Best PizzaIf you told me I could have any food in the world for dinner tonight, I'd ask for a hot fresh pepperoni pizza. I love pizza and I've sampled a slice from many of Toronto's pizza vendors. With decades of pizza eating experience under my belt (quite literally), I'm ready to unveil my answer to the question, "What's Toronto's best pizza?"

Congratulations go out to Vesuvio Pizzeria & Spaghetti House at 3010 Dundas Street West. Vesuvio's makes an absolutely delicious pizza and once you've had a fresh slice of theirs it's difficult to go back to one of the franchises. This is my problem. I'll often order from Pizzaville or Pizza Pizza because they're a little cheaper. Lately I've been enjoying Vesuvio's pizza a little more frequently and it's making me hesitate come pizza time. Considering we only order a pizza every ten days or so, shouldn't I splurge and spend the extra couple of bucks to get Toronto's best pizza?

Life is short. If you live in Toronto's west end, try Vesuvio Pizzeria & Spaghetti House. It's the best slice in town...and no, they didn't buy this space nor do I own a slice of the business. I'm just a fan thinking about pizza on a rainy Wednesday morning.

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Weekly MP3

Weekly MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Public Enemy - Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos
"Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos" is a personal favourite of mine off of one of my favourite discs of all time. It's a classic and today I share it with you.

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Here We Go Again

Here We Go AgainI read warnings like this one just about every day. Security experts are always alerting us of new and highly critical security flaws in Microsoft Internet Explorer. This time, visiting a malicious web site could leave an IE user's computer vulnerable to malicious code. I don't have to worry. I tossed IE to the curb long ago. I use Firefox.

Viewing the stats for this site I see the majority of my visitors are still using Internet Explorer as their web browser. I don't get it. What's wrong with you people? If you were to install and use Firefox for one day you'd never go back. Forgetting about the security benefits for a moment, the usability benefits are extraordinary. All things being equal, I'm sure no one in their right mind would choose Internet Explorer over Firefox. Therefore, all of you people viewing this page with that damn blue "e" in the top left corner are simply using it because it came with your operating system. In other words, it won you over by default, but it's never actually won your heart. Do yourself a favour and get Firefox. Go on. It's time you see what you're missing.

This past weekend I was looking to create a multi-level menu with pure CSS. I managed to get it to behave perfectly with valid, clean code, but there was one problem. It wouldn't work in Internet Explorer. Reason #254 why you should switch today...if you haven't done so already.

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5.59 ERA Jay

5.59 ERA JayWhile the New York Yankees were introducing their latest acquisition Randy Johnson to the media and the New York Mets were introducing their free agent aquisition Carlos Beltran, the Toronto Blue Jays were busy making a big announcement of their own. The Jays have landed Scott Schoeneweis.

Schoeneweis owns a career record of 36-41 with a 5.16 ERA with the Anaheim Angels and Chicago White Sox. In the 2004 season, he made 20 appearances, including 19 starts, with Chicago posting a 6-9 record with a 5.59 ERA.

Wow. We're going to suck yet again, aren't we? I'm beginning to understand how die hard Clippers fans feel.

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Where Have You Gone, Homer Jay Simpson?

Where Have You Gone, Homer Jay Simpson?I'm worried. My friends from Springfield, USA have been missing for weeks now. I haven't seen a new episode of "The Simpsons" since December 12th, 2004.

By my count, we've only seen five new episodes this season and it's already the middle of January. This is most unusual and I'm concerned. The folks at Fox had better not be dicking with my show. At least they're promising a new episode this Sunday with plenty of CanCon. When Grampa is faced with high prescription costs, he and Homer have the solution: smuggle it in from Canada with a little help from Apu, Ned, and some fake Canadian health care IDs.

Now that's what I'm talkin' about. That's exactly what I'm talkin' about.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Edmonton Road Runners 0

Go Leafs Go!Jean-Sebastian Aubin stopped 31 shots while David Ling had a goal and two assists as the St. John's Maple Leafs beat the Edmonton Road Runners 3-0 in a brawl-filled contest Monday night. This moves us into a third-place tie with Edmonton in the North Division.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
47 points
3-0 Win vs. Edmonton
3-2 Win vs. Hamilton
3-2 Win vs. Hamilton
David Ling - 41 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 36 pts
Matt Stajan - 26 pts

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

In response to Ryan's "Personal Hell"...we've all been there, brother. Ah Transit! I know nothing of the Train 48 or whatever, but at least the day begins, brother. For some, they don't have a bus to take nor a job to go to...so ..hey..cheer up.


He's right Ry. Steven Wright said it best: "I was sad because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet. So I said, 'Got any shoes you're not using?'"

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The Monday Shuffle

Monday ShuffleEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in Winamp and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten tunes I heard today.

  1. Beck - Fucking With My Head
  2. Alice In Chains - Frogs
  3. Big Daddy Kane - Keep 'Em On The Floor
  4. Allanah Myles - Black Velvet
  5. Staind - Price To Play
  6. Pearl Jam - Last Kiss
  7. Alice In Chains - No Excuses
  8. The Band - Up On Cripple Creek
  9. Ray Charles - That Lucky Old Sun
  10. Oasis - A Quick Peep

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayMcShuarma Commercial - McDonalds has an amazing ad campaign currently airing in Isreal. It's a dead-on spoof of the "royale with cheese" sequence between Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction. The impersonations of John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson are perfect. This is actually a McDonald's commercial I could watch over and over again...and I have!

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The Baby Song

Musical Genius?I'm not certain, but it's quite possible James is a musical genius. He's only two but he's already composed his first song. He came up with the lyrics himself and claims he composed the music. The tune bears a little too much of a resemblance to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" "Mary Had A Little Lamb", but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.

He wrote this song for his sister and will sing it on demand. I've caught myself singing in the shower a few times as it's a pretty groovy tune. From the mind of James, here's "The Baby Song".

Babies like to make a mess,
Babies like to eat,
Babies like to cry and cry and never go to sleep.

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. There are two of Michelle, one of James and one of the magical tulips that refuse to die.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

My Personal Version of Train 48

Every morning I wake up at about 6 am to begin my transit to work. This includes both a trip on a TTC bus and a TTC train. Finally I am ready to partake on the final leg of my journey by boarding a Mississauga Transit Bus that brings me to work. Here is where I find the comparison between my 30 minute bus ride and the rediculously bad show on Global TV.

At 7 am I board this bus but before boarding I look around the terminal and see the exact same faces as I do each and every morning. I personally enjoy waking up as I travel and do not enjoy much contact with others on my trip. This has become difficult as people recognize me and attempt to talk.

There is the Chinese man who always sits near me at the back and constantly points to me with a work colleague about how I am falling asleep. He seems to make the same comment every day (I notice this even with the music blasting in my ears from the discman). The ladies which I recognize from my workplace are loud and cheerful. This upsets me greatly. They constantly talk about work, which is not something I want to think about until 8 am when I begin.

There are many others that would make this entry far too long. But to mention one last, there is the man with the cowboy hat. This man always say hello and is a talker. I mean he really likes to yap. He enjoys talking about politics and is always ready to spark up a convo at first eye contact. Which is the key.

Avoid eye contact!! I have learned to do this well. I am probably disliked on this bus where everyone knows everyone and they all enjoy talking about the weather at 7:15 am, but I don't mind. This is my personal hell. LEAVE ME ALONE!!

I don't like the 30 min show and I certainly do not like the 30 minute version that airs every morning of my life at 7 am. Be sure to catch it.. as next week the Chinese man is sure to point me out to his friend (who seems displeased to put up with him on the bus) and make a gesture with his hands to suggest a person sleeping, as I nod off just hoping that he wont try to poke me awake and expect me to laugh about the hilarity of the situation. TO BE CONTINUED... UNFORTUNATELY.


Your tale is littered with intriguing characters and has now been shared with hundreds of people. In other words, it's nothing like "Train 48".

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Horizontal Bop

Horizontal BopEarlier this afternoon I glanced at my site and felt an itch I had to scratch. I realized it's been over a year since the last major change to the look and feel of these pages so I started hacking away at the CSS in an attempt to freshen her up a little.

Many of the modifications are subtle but the change I made to the main navigation menu is pretty damn obvious. We were vertical and now we're horizontal. This way I've got more real estate for the body. If you're looking for the search field I had at the left of every page, I've moved it to my new search page and link to it at the bottom of every page, right beside the link to the Site Map.

I'm sincerely interested in whether this is an improvement or not, so if you have a thought or two pass it on.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Hamilton Bulldogs 2

Go Leafs Go!Brad Leeb scored twice, including the winning goal at 14:22 of the third period, to rally the Maple Leafs to a second consecutive 3-2 victory over Hamilton. Jean-Sebastien Aubin made 28 saves, improving his record to an impressive 8-3-0.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
45 points
3-2 Win vs. Hamilton
3-2 Win vs. Hamilton
4-1 Loss vs. Hamilton
David Ling - 38 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 35 pts
Matt Stajan - 26 pts

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

I'm just sick of people ripping off others on golf clubs!

      Used golf clubs

Getting those kind of beefs off your chest is one of the many purposes of the Guest Blog. I'll bet you feel at least a little bit better about the whole golf club racket now.

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"They say, when you meet the love of your life, time stops, and that's true. What they don't tell you is that when it starts again, it moves extra fast to catch up."
      - Ed Bloom, Big Fish

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Hip Clarification

Hip ClarificationI previously mentioned that The Tragically Hip will be making a cameo appearance on "Corner Gas" on February 28, 2005. It turns out The Tragically Hip and Colin James are both scheduled to star in an upcoming episode of the show, but it's actually set to air on March 14, 2005.

If you've already set your VCRs, you'll need to modify the record date.

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The Last Samurai

The Last SamuraiThe Last Samurai: 7 out of 10.

The Last Samurai looks pretty cool. They do a great job recreating rural Japan in the 1870s and the fight scenes look great. Although it's a little cliché, the story isn't half bad either and Ken Watanabe does a fantastic job as Katsumoto. Unfortunately, it's a little too long and there are parts in middle where it hangs. Tighten this sucker up and make it a little less predictable and you've got yourself a fine flick here.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

yo ..for the Hockey nerds.. Greg and Lou pass on the info.. www.baystreetbullies.com check out the vid clips, lotsa fights ...ah moo!


That's quite the site. Once you get past the fact it violates every rule of design on the planet, you see there are some sweet photos and a tonne of videos. The lockout, however, has left a bad taste in my mouth and I'm not ready to dive in. These wounds are fresh and need to heal before I can partake.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Go ahead and play the blues if it'll make you happy."

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayBefore and After Tsunami Photos - These are stunning photos that show the before and after effects of the tsunami. I've seen these pix before, but never presented like this. Wow.

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Vince Carter Is A Dick

Vince Carter Is A DickSince being traded by my Toronto Raptors to the New Jersey Nets, Vince Carter is averaging 22.5 points per game. He's playing hard, taking it to the hoop and putting up points. Those are three things he didn't do before the trade.

TNT broadcast an interview with Carter yesterday in which he was asked if he pushed himself as hard as he should have in Toronto. Below was his response.

"In years past, no. I was fortunate to have the talent ... you get spoiled when you're able to do a lot of things. You see that you don't have to work at it. Now, with the all the injuries, I have to work harder. I'm a little hungrier. Getting a fresh start has made me want to attack the basket."

What an ass. He's essentially admitting he didn't try his best with Toronto. This explains why he looks like a different player in New Jersey. I used to defend Vince Carter when others wanted to get rid of him. Now, I wish him nothing but the worst. F him.

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Uncancelled and Blogging

Uncancelled and BloggingOver a year ago I celebrated the uncancellation of Family Guy. It's a damn funny show and it will be back on Fox sometime this spring.

If you're a fan, there's a Family Guy Blog maintained by the producers of the show promising "exclusive looks at script pages, guest stars, interviews, table reads, story boards, and much more!" Uncancelled and blogging...2005 is Stewie's year.

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The Friday Five

Friday FiveThe worst Robert De Niro movies I've seen

  1. The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle
  2. Analyze This
  3. Meet the Parents
  4. Showtime
  5. 15 Minutes

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The Long Range Psyche Out

Long Range Psyche OutsOne morning last week I visited The Weather Network for a peak at the five day forecast for Toronto. On the fifth day they were calling for 16°C. It never happened, in fact, they were about 20°C off the mark.

This morning they're calling for 14°C this coming Wednesday. I realize it's difficult to predict weather patterns five days in advance but why is it that during the winter the fifth day is always going to be unseasonably warm before it's changed to more realistic and seasonal temperatures? This is all part of the long range psyche out. In order to boost interest in weather networks, reports and web sites, Meteorologists are intentionally overly optimistic when forecasting that fifth day.

Will it reach 14°C this Wednesday in Toronto? I'll follow this up then to prove to you that it didn't. I'm betting we don't come close.

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No See The OC

No See The OCTaryn is watching "The OC" right now in our bedroom. She recently discovered this show and now watches it each Thursday night. Both of my brothers watch this program religiously and even my mom has started watching. Those in my little circle are huge fans of this teen drama that I've never seen a minute of.

That's not quite true. About a half hour ago I went in the bedroom and heard Modest Mouse playing. I glanced at the screen and saw them performing live in a club on "The OC". I stayed until MM left the screen and then I left the scene. Seeing them performing live on a teen drama reminded me of another teen drama I used to watch when I was a teenager. On 90210, Nat owned The Peach Pit and Brandon worked there. When Peach Pit After Dark opened, it was common for bands to perform there. I distinctly remember the Barenaked Ladies playing there and I know there were others I can't recall.

I'm glad "The OC" is providing my family with such entertainment but I have no interest in it. I've been there, done that. I was there when Brenda lost her virginity to Dylan, Brandon gambled too much, Kelly got high and David cheated on Donna. As the Barenaked Ladies once sang, "It's all been done...".

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayPee In The Snow - Go ahead, pee in the snow. It's fun.

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Top 102 Songs of 2004

Best Songs of 2004On New Year's Eve I listened while CFNY Edge 102 played their top 102 songs of 2004. Below I will reveal my feelings about their top ten.

  1. Green Day - American Idiot
    During the political summer of 2004, this was a great single. It reminded me of the good ol' Dookie days. I'm not surprised to see it in the top ten but I am surprised to see it at the top of this list. It would have appeared on SLS12 had "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" not supplanted it.
  2. Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
    "Take Me Out" was my favourite song released in 2004. It's really two quality tunes in one. You've got that killer build up, which could have been a song unto itself, then it breaks down into a completely different but even better song. I can't say enough good things about "Take Me Out", a perfect single. It appropriately led off the excellent SLS11.
  3. Outkast - Hey Ya!
    I'm fairly certain "Hey Ya! peaked on CFNY Edge 102 in 2003, but it did have a remarkably long shelf life. It appeared way back on SLS10 and was a personal favourite of mine until it was played into the ground. It's a hard tune to dislike.
  4. U2 - Vertigo
    I said everything I had to say about this song in this entry. I had no interest, lets move on.
  5. Linkin Park - Breaking The Habit
    From the album that keeps producing hit singles, "Breaking The Habit" was a pretty decent tune and did appear on SLS12. It didn't blow me away but I heard much, much worse in 2004.
  6. Beastie Boys - Ch-Check It Out
    When this single first hit, I jacked up the car stereo every time it came on. It harkened me back to old school Beastie Boys and helped me get my groove back. It appeared on SLS11.
  7. The Offspring - Hit That
    I used to have a lot of respect for The Offspring. I must have spun their disc "Smash" a billion times. "Ixnay On The Hombre" was pretty good too, and then they released the song that killed The Offspring in my eyes. "Pretty Fly For A White Guy". Argh, thinking about that sell-out of a garbage tune makes me want to puke. "Hit That" isn't much better.
  8. Modest Mouse - Float On
    "Float On" was part of the 2004 Tunage Trifecta, all of which made CFNY Edge 102's top ten of 2004. It also made my top five. This is a great track.
  9. Incubus - Megalomaniac
    At first I wasn't sure of this song, then I started to really like it, then it grew on me so I loved it and spun it often, then I got tired of it and haven't heard it in months. It easily made SLS12.
  10. The Killers - Somebody Told Me
    Rounding out the 2004 Tunage Trifecta is "Somebody Told Me", a very catchy tune that I would catch my self singing periodically throughout 2004. I'm glad to see it on this list.

There you have it, my reaction to CFNY Edge 102's top ten songs of 2004. If you're curious where the rest of my top five ranked on their chart, they had The Tragically Hip's "Vaccination Scar" at #30 and The Killers' "Mr. Brightside" and The Von Bondies' "C'mon C'mon" didn't rank at all. Pity.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Hamilton Bulldogs 2

Go Leafs Go!Matt Stajan was benched in the second period by coach Doug Shedden for his lackadaisical defense and responded with the winning goal while shorthanded late in the third.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
43 points
3-2 Win vs. Hamilton
4-1 Loss vs. Hamilton
5-3 Win vs. Syracuse
David Ling - 37 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 35 pts
Harold Druken - 24 pts

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A Misplaced "e"

A Misplaced eOver the past twenty-four hours, this site has been getting hundreds of referrals from searches for amber frye pictures where I'm the first site listed in Google. I immediately wondered two things.

  1. Why are people so anxious to see pictures of her? Don't we already know what she looks like?
  2. Why am I ranked #1 when this is a huge story and there are many sites far more popular than mine with far more detail about this case? There's no way I should be the definite resource for pictures of Amber Frye.

I did a little research and now I've got answers!

  1. Unbeknownst to me, there are naked pictures of Amber Frey on the Internet. People everywhere are looking for these nude photos by hitting Google with this search string. Nothing increases site traffic like pornography.
  2. I'm ranked #1 because I misspelled her name! It's Amber Frey, but my entry says Amber Frye. What the heck do I know? If I spelled her name right, I'd probably be ranked #954 but because of that misplaced "e", I'm number one!

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The BBC On Blogs

The BBC On BlogsBlog readership has shot up by 58% in the last year, according to this article from the BBC. Obviously a lot more people are reading blogs, but only 7% of the 120 million US adults who use the internet actually maintain a blog.

My favourite line from this BBC article is this: "Blog creators were likely to be young, well-educated, net-savvy males with good incomes and college educations, the survey found." I'm still fairly young, I'm well-educated with a university education, I'm a male and I'm net-savvy. Where's that killer income I'm promised?

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Weekly MP3

Weekly MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Boulevard of Broken Songs
2004 was the year I discovered mash-ups. If you don't yet know what a mash-up is, read this Wikipedia page on bastard pop. "Boulevard of Broken Songs" is a wonderful blend of Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and Oasis' "Wonderwall".

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St. John's Maple Leafs 1, Hamilton Bulldogs 4

Go Leafs Go!Newmarket's Corey Locke scored twice last night to help end our modest three-game win streak. We won't have to wait long for redemption as we play the Bulldogs again tonight.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
41 points
4-1 Loss vs. Hamilton
5-3 Win vs. Syracuse
4-1 Win vs. Syracuse
David Ling - 36 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 34 pts
Harold Druken - 23 pts

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceBud Poile was 80. He's a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame who helped the Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup in 1947 and was the first general manager of both the Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks.

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Canada 6, Russia 1

Go Canada Go!The World Junior Hockey Championship has returned to Canada for the first time since 1997. We were victorious at the 2002 Olympics, captured two consecutive IIHF world titles and won the World Cup of Hockey back in September. We rule the hockey universe, without a doubt.

I can't say enough about how dominating this team was the entire tournament. An even strength goal wasn't scored against us after our first game on Christmas Day. If you remove a 7-3 victory that day, we outscored our opponents 34-4 over six games. That's mind blowing stuff.

It was a great day for Canadian hockey, and more important than anything, Canadians got a positive shot of exceptional hockey without requiring the NHL. I can't wait for the IIHF World Championship this spring.

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Blogging The Gold Medal Game

Go Canada Go!This one's for all the marbles. Canada faces Russia for Gold at the World Junior Hockey Championship in minutes. As promised, I'm blogging the game.

I want this one bad. Boys, it's time to kick ass. Bring it home.

20:09 - Yes! Ryan Getzlaf scores on a great drop pass from Jeff Carter. I love an early lead... Canada 1, Russia 0

20:12 - I say pound the puck at Anton Khudobin in the early going. He seems a little shaky. Lets see what he's made of. Damn...Perry's in the box. It's penalty kill time. Canada 1, Russia 0

20:17 - Phew! Down two men for a significant chunk of time, the good guys killed it off. Glass was sharp, no pun intended. Canada 1, Russia 0

20:21 - A Canadian bounce off the boards produces a smart goal by Danny Syvret. I hope we bury these guys. Ryan Getzlaf looks like he could score five goals himself tonight. Canada 2, Russia 0

20:28 - Quote of the day from Pierre McGuire: "They should start calling diving on these guys. They go down like free beer at a frat party". Canada 2, Russia 0

20:42 - Shit. I was watching the clock and waiting for that horn. We've got to stay out of the box, nobody can score on us even strength. Canada 2, Russia 1

20:44 - I thought we played a great period until that late power play marker by Russia. As I said two minutes ago, if we play five on five they can't touch us. Canada 2, Russia 1

20:45 - They just aired a commercial for the new Samuel L. Jackson movie "Coach Carter". Haven't I seen that movie before? Wasn't it called "Lean On Me"? Or was it "Dangerous Minds"? Either way, I'm glad to see Butch Carter get his dues. Canada 2, Russia 1

21:06 - I knew Anton Khudobin looked shaky. A quick shot by Jeff Carter puts us back up by two. Move over Mr. Lindros, Carter now has twelve. Canada 3, Russia 1

21:16 - What a goal! Great hit by Dion Phaneuf, great rush by Sidney Crosby, great pass by Corey Perry and great finish by Patrice Bergeron....and another goal by Anthony Stewart! Ca-na-da! Ca-na-da! Ca-na-da! Canada 5, Russia 1

21:26 - Blur said it best, didn't they? Whoo-Hooo! Dion Phaneuf gives Canada an overwhelming five goal lead. Another dominating performance by the greatest Canadian junior team of all time. Canada 6, Russia 1

21:38 - This Russian team is hateful. I no longer want to beat them, I want to pulverize them. Twenty minutes to go before we're crowned champions. Canada 6, Russia 1

22:08 - I just broke out the calculator and see that we've outscored our opponents in this tournament 41-7. We've never trailed. That's incredible. Canada 6, Russia 1

22:20 - Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye...Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye... Canada 6, Russia 1

22:24 - Gold for Canada! At this moment, Canada is the Men and Women Olympic Champions, the Men and Women World Champions, the World Cup Champions and now the Junior Champions. I've never witnessed such pure domination. We are the champions! Canada 6, Russia 1

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Good News For Robbie

Good News For RobbieRyne Sandberg was voted into the baseball Hall of Fame this afternoon. He appeared on 76.2 per cent of ballots, just above the 75 per cent cutoff. Personally, I don't think Sandberg belongs in the Hall of Fame. He was a fantastic second baseman for the Cubs with some pop in the bat and great defense, but I don't believe he's worthy of this honour.

As a Blue Jays fan, I'm glad he's there. If he got in, Roberto Alomar will surely follow when he's eligible. Alomar is the best player to ever don a Blue Jays uniform and he was the best second baseman in baseball for a solid decade. He hit for average, had good power, played awesome D and was an excellent base stealer. Furthermore, he was clutch and a key component of our two World Series Championships. Most importantly, he was clearly a better player than Ryne Sandberg and should therefore be voted in to Cooperstown.

When Alomar is inducted into the Hall of Fame, he'll be the first to go in wearing a Blue Jays cap. It will be a proud day in the big smoke.

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The Wrong Tsunami

The Wrong TsunamiThe Calgary Herald went to press last week with quite the tsunami photo on their front page. Here it is, in case you don't read the Calgary Herald. It is an undoctored photo of a tsunami, only it's a couple of years old.

Great photo, wrong tsunami. Oops.

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Vince Neil Swears

Vince Neil SwearsStop the presses. During the live New Year's Eve broadcast of "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno", Motley Crue rocker Vince Neil turned to bandmate Tommy Lee and said, "Happy fucking New Year, Tommy!"

East coast viewers watching NBC after midnight heard the F-bomb in its entirety. Pray for their souls.

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Better Late Than Never

Better Late Than NeverFinally back from his lovely Moroccan vacation, Prime Minister Paul Martin announced yesterday that Canada would double its aid to victims of the tsunami disaster to $80 million, putting us in the forefront of developed nations that have pledged money to the relief effort. Today he followed that up by saying we're blowing by $80 million, but wouldn't say by how much. Meanwhile, the DART is being deployed and will be fully operational in a secure area of eastern Sri Lanka next week.

This is exactly the role Canada should play and I'm pleased. I only wish this reaction had come sooner. I strongly believe the right thing to do with the total of confirmed dead rising by the hour and 150 Canadians missing would have been to cut your vacation short and return home. Once back in Canada, a leader can lead by reassuring us that the DART would be deployed and significant money would be pledged. Instead, we heard nothing of value from Ottawa for almost a full week.

Better late than never I suppose, but it's truly a shame we had to wait to hear we would do the right thing.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayJenny, Are You There? - Eight six seven five three oh nine... Who will ever forget the early 80s hit from Tommy Tutone "Jenny (867-5309)". This guy called 867-5309 for every area code in America and documented the results. Useless but fascinating stuff.

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The Monday Shuffle

Monday ShuffleEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in Winamp and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten tunes I heard today.

  1. Limp Bizkit - Nookie
  2. Nirvana - Paper Cuts
  3. Disturbed - Stupify
  4. Adam Sandler - Listenin' To The Radio
  5. Hayden - My Parent's House
  6. Cypress Hill - Tres Equis
  7. Paris - Scarface Groove
  8. Audioslave - Gasoline
  9. Naughty By Nature - Thanx For Sleepwalking
  10. The Vines - Ain't No Room

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Blogging The Gold Medal Game

Go Canada Go!As an experiment, I blogged Team Canada's 9-0 win over Germany in real time last week. It didn't detract from my enjoyment of the game and it provided an interesting account of the action, so I've deemed the experiment a complete success.

Tomorrow night our junior team faces Russia for gold. It's our fourth trip in a row to the finals but we haven't finished first since 1997. The NHL lockout has put a great deal more focus on this tournament than usual and this country is starving for a victory. Remember, we're the current World Champions, Olympic Champions and World Cup Champions. Winning the 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship would mean unprecedented dominance in our national sport. It's a huge game and to mark the occasion I will once again be Game Bloggin'.

Drop by tomorrow night during the game to read my instant reaction to the action.

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Why Do I Know These Names?

Why Do I Know These Names?Scott Peterson's former mistress, Amber Frye, is releasing a book this week and will be plastered all over your television while she promotes it. Scott Peterson, meanwhile, will be formally sentenced on February 25 for the murder of his wife Laci and their unborn child.

Why do I know these names? How is it that the trial of Scott Peterson became an international news story? I understood the interest in OJ Simpson's court case because he was a famous celebrity. Hell, the man once ran for 2000 yards in a season for the Bills and he had a big roll in The Naked Gun. People knew him, but nobody knew Scott Peterson before he murdered his wife. Scott and Laci Peterson were unknowns in Modesto, California, so how did this story become more than a localized California tragedy?

Lets face it, this story became extremely popular because Scott and Laci Peterson were attractive white people. The media eats attractive white people for breakfast. A few days after the tsunami disaster last week, I read a cover story on CNN.com about a little Swedish boy who may have lost his parents in the tsunami. It was a sad story and this little boy's picture was plastered on the front page, a symbol of the devestation. This boy, of course, was blond and blue eyed...unlike 99% of the children suffering in south east Asia.

Like Scott Peterson, men kill their pregnant wives on a fairly regular basis throughout the United States. These incidents are always sad and receive significant coverage in their locality, but never has it dominated the news like this. Here in Toronto, I shouldn't know the name Amber Frye, but I do. Mass media is sickeningly superficial and style outrates substance every time.

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Canada 3, Czech Republic 1

Go Canada Go!For the fourth year in a row, Canada has advanced to the finals of the World Junior Hockey Championship. The final score was rather deceiving as the game never seemed close. Canada once again completely dominated play and outshot the Czech Republic 42-11.

The finals take place at 19:30 EST on Tuesday night against either the USA or Russia. We're not playing for silver. It's time to end the drought and bring home the gold. I'm cautiously optimistic that's exactly what will transpire on Tuesday.

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2004 Tunage

2004 TunageWith the Bills playoff hopes down the drain and with a few minutes before TSN's coverage of Team Canada's semifinal game against the Czech Republic at the 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship, I've started spinning tunes.

Looking back at music in the year 2004, there are quite a few bright spots. I've already listed my five favourite albums of 2004 and my five favourite songs of 2004, but what of the gems that didn't appear on either list? What about those tunes I liked so much I spun them over and over again in 2004? This entry is dedicated to them.

  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps - Karen O's voice on this single encapsulates me each and every time I listen to it. Listening to it again today I don't know how I could leave it off my five favourite songs of 2004 list. I want to call this a killer ballad, but it's actually pretty heavy in a wickedly calm way.
  • The Strokes - Reptilia - I can't say enough good things about The Strokes. This was the second single from Room On Fire and my favourite cut on the album. It's the kind of brilliance bands produce when it seems they don't really care if you like it or not. I liked it. I liked it a lot. Tremendous song.
  • Broken Social Scene - Cause=Time - I love how this tune puts you in a trance, threatens to speed up and shuts back down, melding into that awesome daze once more. I loved this tune before I learned the wonderful history and home-grown nature of the band. Throughout 2004 I found myself returning to "Cause=Time" time and time again.
  • Metric - Combat Baby - I think this might be one of the most under-rated tunes of 2004. It's eerily catchy with a Yeah Yeah Yeahs sensibility. In fact, this tune is the ideal companion piece for "Maps" with a great female lead voice and a political statement to boot. Again, I loved this tune before I learned the wonderful history and home-grown nature of the band. Toronto rocks!

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Corner Hip

Corner HipFellow fans of The Tragically Hip will want to tune into CTV's "Corner Gas" on February 28, 2005 to see a cameo appearance by the band.

You may want to stick around for "Degrassi: The Next Generation". If the stars align, there might be a Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith cameo making for a cool cameo double header.

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Lured Back

Lured BackI blame myself. The Buffalo Bills started this season 0-4 before I swore off regular season NFL football. Then, right on queue, my favourite NFL team won eight of their next nine. I, apparently, was a serious jinx.

If the Bills beat Pittsburgh this afternoon, they will finish the season 10-6 and require either the St. Louis Rams to upset the New York Jets or the Indianapolis Colts to defeat the Denver Broncos to make the playoffs. As a result, I'm prematurely ending my boycott of regular season NFL action to root for the Bills and closely watch that scoreboard.

Go Bills Go!

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"Like maple syrup, Canada's evil oozes over the United States."
      - TV Announcer, Canadian Bacon

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures, including the mischievous work of a very naughty little boy.

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Coffee Time

Coffee TimeTaryn bought a half pound of coffee from Alternative Grounds in Roncesvalles and left it on the table in the living room while she went upstairs to tend to Michelle. Meanwhile, I was working in the basement while James roamed the house freely.

I began to smell the strong scent of coffee brewing and assumed Taryn was making a pot. I didn't think twice about it and soon thereafter went upstairs and saw what mischief James had been up to.

See for yourself. James was a naughty little boy.

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Hilarious Bias

Hilarious BiasI just read this article from USA Hockey about their quarter-final game against Sweden today at the 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship. It's a hilarious example of an obvious and transparent bias.

The headline of the article is "Buoyant Team USA takes momentum into crossover" and it's all about what a positive roll Team USA is on heading into today's game. Team USA is the defending champions at the 2005 World Junior Championship, but they've lost two in a row. They suffered one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament losing to Belarus before losing 3-1 to the Czech Republic last Thursday.

That's some momentum!

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Top Ten Search Strings

Top Ten Search StringsOn the first day of every month I'm going to post the top ten search strings from the previous month. These are the Google searches that referred people to this site. Below are the top ten search strings for December 2004.

  1. big shiny tunes 8
  2. motley crue presale password
  3. homer quotes
  4. tsunami video malaysia india
  5. my mp3 collection
  6. doug ault
  7. big shiny 90's
  8. absolute 90's
  9. warren zevon once wrote a song about a major league pitcher
  10. celebrity death watch

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

Number four? Having your first nephew born on the same day as your first girl against astronomical odds and it hits number 4 on your list of top blogs of 2004??? Rude Mike, very, very rude. I can see throwing the birth of Michelle up there. And all that mushy stuff about James is touching, but it's got to fall behind the day you had both a second child and first nephew blessed upon you!! Foreshame Michael Wayne Boon, Foreshame!

Oh yeah, on a totally different topic, if anyone is watching the Juniors play, it should be quite clear that we MUST REMOVE THE TWO LINE PASS OFFSIDE CALL. Hockey is great and so much more fun without it. That's it. Happy New Year to all!


Yesterday I listed my ten favourite blog entries of 2004 and "My Nephew" ranked number four. In any other calendar year I'm sure it would have ranked number one but this year it was beat out by two entries about the birth of Michelle and "My New Year", an entry that still brings a tear to my eye when I read it. No disrespect to Zander, he's a righteous dude, but if I don't give primary props to Michelle and James I'll have some explaining to do when they're able to read the archives.

And yes, I'm definitely watching the juniors and I do find the lack of red line exciting. If the NHL ever resumes, I think they should follow suit. I can see Mogilny springing Sundin now. Sigh...

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"God bless those pagans."

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