February 2005 Archives

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St. John's Maple Leafs 2, Chicago Wolves 5

The Blue and White Maple LeafAnother day, another loss for St. John's. That's five in a row if you're following along at home.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
68 points
5-2 Loss vs. Chicago
3-2 Loss vs. Milwaukee
4-3 Loss vs. Hamilton
Kyle Wellwood - 64 pts
David Ling - 62 pts
Matt Stajan - 45 pts

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The Monday Shuffle

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

  1. Pinball Wizard - The Who
  2. Feelings - The Offspring
  3. Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses
  4. I'll Be Back - The Beatles
  5. Lithium - Nirvana
  6. We Can Work It Out - Heather Nova
  7. Divine - Korn
  8. Outshined - Soundgarden
  9. The Love Song - Marilyn Manson
  10. Unsound - The Headstones

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayGoogle Igpay Atinlay - It'sway ourway avouritefay earchsay engineway inway igpay atinlay. Oolcay!

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And The Winner Is...

An Academy AwardJordan Eberhardt predicted 17 winners last night to beat the other 74 of us in my 2005 Oscar Prediction Contest. To see how you fared, view the final results.

I finished with 11 but still did better than most. We'll do it all again next year.

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Hate Jones

TVHere in Canada, we get the E! pre-Oscar show on StarTV. This is a two hour program before the telecast begins where you see what the stars are wearing and other shallow stuff like that. Taryn and I have always rather enjoyed this guilty pleasure but this is no longer the case.

The new host of this shlockfest is Star Jones and she's unwatchable. Two minutes of her and I wanted to pull an Elvis and shoot the damn TV. She's as annoying as hell and did something I didn't think was possible. She made me long for Joan and Melissa Rivers.

I hear the Rivers' are still doing their thing on the TV Guide network in the states. Maybe if we start our letter writing campaign now we can get StarTV to switch before the 2006 Oscars. Join me in writing them at starprogramming@star-tv.com.

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Not Gonna Make It

ScissorsA couple of weeks ago I wrote about my sympathy growth. James and I were letting our hair grow until May when we'd go together for his first actual haircut by a professional.

Neither of us are going to make it that long. It's getting nasty my friends. Yesterday I tucked it under my Blue Jays cap but it found a way to escape. It always does.

The question now is whether we'll make it through the week. I wouldn't bet on it.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 2, Milwaukee Admirals 3

The Blue and White Maple LeafMilwaukee outshot St. John's 40-21 and won in overtime when Dan Hamhuis scored. We're in a bit of a rut my friends. Lets snap out of this sucker before playoffs, k?

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
68 points
3-2 Loss vs. Milwaukee
4-3 Loss vs. Hamilton
4-2 Loss vs. Hamilton
Kyle Wellwood - 63 pts
David Ling - 61 pts
Matt Stajan - 44 pts

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me. "
      - Hunter S. Thompson

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Amusing A Gas Station Attendant

HouseMy brother moved today. Because he's the only 28 year old on the planet without a drivers license, I got the call to take care of the truck rental and all that jazz. Brothers help brothers move so I spent most of today fulfilling that obligation.

UHaul demands that their trucks are returned with the same amount of gas as they left the lot with or you're hit with a $20 surcharge in addition to the price of the gas you used. I didn't use much gas so I pulled into an Esso and asked the attendant for five bucks worth of diesel. He found this to be rather amusing. He kept laughing and asking me if I really only wanted five dollars worth of diesel in the truck. Even as he pumped me $5 worth he was laughing to himself as if this was the most absurd request he had ever received from a patron.

I stuck to my guns and didn't bow to his humiliation tactics. I knew five dollars would put the gage to the 3/4 full mark and I'd escape UHaul without that dreaded surcharge. As I saw it, it was a win-win scenario. I only had to cough up a fin and the attendant got a good ol' chuckle on a cold Saturday afternoon.

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Tasty Road Kill

FoodKraft Foods recently launched fruity-flavored Trolli Road Kill Gummi Candy. They're in the shapes of partly flattened snakes, chickens and squirrels. I think it's a hilarious premise. I'd love eating road kill gummi candy, wouldn't you?

The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals thinks it fosters cruelty toward animals. They're making a stink and getting enough press that Kraft has already pulled an animated advertisement from Trolli's Web site that featured car headlights and animals.

These are stupid candies in the shapes of road kill. We, as a society, need to lighten up a bit. If I can't chow down on a partly flattened snake, the terrorists have already won.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"Please don't eat me! I have a wife and kids. Eat them!"

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumTom Patterson was 84. He was a former magazine journalist and Second World War veteran who founded the internationally acclaimed Stratford Festival more than 50 years ago.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayRyan - One of the films nominated for Best Animated Short Film is "Ryan" from the National Film Board of Canada. I picked it to win but just saw it now for the first time. It's very cool and you can watch it too if you at this link.

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Hide And Seek With James

FamilyJames is a big fan of hide and seek. The first thing he wanted to do when I got home today was play a few rounds. He's pretty good at it, but there's one fatal flaw with his strategy.

When I'm pretending I can't find him, I often think call aloud "Where are you James?" or think aloud "I wonder where James is". At this point, without failure, he'll bellow out his exact location. "I'm in Michelle's closet" or "I'm under my covers" or whatever the case may be.

I've tried explaining to him that the objective is to not be found and revealing his specific whereabouts is directly opposed to this objective but he doesn't care. He's totally cool with it.

I'm starting to suspect he wants to be found.

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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.

Hey guysngals,

I was just checking out www.infowars.com and there's some pretty interesting stuff on there. I know Ryan likes this stuff. AH INFO! AH WARS! ah yes!


Not my cup of tea and a pretty brutal site presentation wise, but whatever floats your boat. I was able to stomach about 90 seconds worth before bailing. Who wants to beat my record?

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The Politics Are Dancing

A NewspaperPrime Minister Paul Martin is insisting that the United States seek permission before firing any missiles over Canada. Our big buddies to the South have said that the United States would not consult us before firing at incoming missiles over our airspace. To that notion, the Prime Minister says, "This is our airspace, we're a sovereign nation and you don't intrude on a sovereign nation's airspace without seeking permission."

This of course stems from Martin's courageous decision to not sign on to the U.S. missile defence program. I was never comfortable with Dubya's eager desire to have us sign on. We're not the 51st state and I feared the possibilities should we have buckled to his pressure. Make no mistake, America is our ally, but our role in the missile defence program reked of subserviency.

In a less courageous move, our Ontario government passed legislation yesterday recognizing same-sex marriage. Don't get me wrong, I'm very pleased this legislation passed, but I'm not proud of the manner in which the votes were registered.

The government approved the bill by a simple voice vote, which allowed it to pass without forcing Liberal MPPs who object to same-sex marriage to go on the record as having voted against their party. This is cowardly. We have the right to know which MPPs don't want to recognize gay and lesbian marriages. They need to be accountable for their vote and permitting them to vote anonymously is a serious blow to the entire democratic process.

Regardless of how they were implemented, these are two positive political actions on the Federal and Provincial levels respectively. The politics are indeed dancing because we've got da groovy beat.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite movies that won for "Best Picture" at the Academy Awards

  1. The Godfather Part 2
  2. The Godfather
  3. American Beauty
  4. Forrest Gump
  5. Schindler's List

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Your Picks Unveiled

An Academy AwardThanks go out to the 74 of you who entered my little Oscar Prediction Contest this year. You will find everyone's picks here.

From the 2005 Oscar picks page you'll find a PDF download of all 75 entries so you can print and follow along at home. Check back here to see how everyone did.

I'm just hoping Chris Rock rocks.

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Tiger Beat

A BookThe headline was rather enticing. "Britney's Private Album! Never-before-seen photos of the newlyweds' romantic secret life". As I started browsing this magazine Taryn brought home I saw there were pages and pages of pictures of the rich and famous.

In addition to several pictures of Britney there were pictures of Eva Longoria, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez, April Florio, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce Knowles and more. And there were interesting tidbits too, like the fact Eva Longoria doesn't need to pad her butt or the fact Amy Lee's hair is naturally curly. The magazine was Us Weekly and it was pages of glossy pictures of pretty people and fluffy information about them. Where had I seen this format before?

Oh yes, Tiger Beat. Us Weekly is Tiger Beat for an older crowd. I feel so cheap for having succumbed to her glossy finish.

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Last Chance To Enter

An Academy AwardYou have a little over eleven hours left before I stop accepting 2005 Oscar Prediction Contest entries. If you want to play along, complete this form before it's too late.

Tomorrow morning I'll unveil everyone's picks. You can cut the anticipation with a knife.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Hamilton Bulldogs 4

The Blue and White Maple Leaf"I call it Toronto fatigue. It's the honeymoon capital of the world with most of your girlfriends and family. The last thing on your mind is playing hockey. That's the way I took it tonight." That gem of a quote comes from Leafs coach Doug Shedden after another loss to Hamilton last night and explains it all.

I think I'm suffering from "Toronto fatigue" myself. There's a load of stuff happening here, but hockey isn't on the menu.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
67 points
4-3 Loss vs. Hamilton
4-2 Loss vs. Hamilton
3-2 Loss vs. Rochester
Kyle Wellwood - 63 pts
David Ling - 61 pts
Matt Stajan - 42 pts

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Albums I'm Anticipating

A CDThere are a few upcoming albums I'm eagerly anticipating.

Queens of the Stone Age's "Lullabies To Paralyze" is due out March 22, System of a Down's "Hypnotize" is coming soon with "Mesmerize" coming later in the year and The White Stripes will be recording a new album this week.

Right there are four 2005 releases I can't wait to get my mitts on.

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While Supplies Last?

Question MarkI briefly mentioned that I was now accepting donations via Paypal. When I log in my Paypal account I'm greeted with the following message about a promotion they're running with iTunes.

Good news: You can now use PayPal to securely and easily buy music from the massive iTunes catalogue, including lots of exclusive tracks and videos.

But you won't have to buy all your music. For a limited time, when you start using PayPal with your new, free iTunes account, you'll get five songs free (while supplies last).

I'm baffled by the "while supplies last" caveat. If these songs are downloadable digital files, isn't their supply infinite? There's nothing tangible here, with a single file they can create thousands more quite easily. Hell, they can send me one and I'll send them a couple of hundred back moments later. How can they run out of such supplies?

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Memory Card From The Knills

CameraTragically, John and Jackie Knill of Vancouver perished in the recent Tsunami disaster. A man from Seattle doing relief work in Thailand recently discovered their digital camera and salvaged the memory card and got it to John and Jackie's three sons.

This memory card included shots of their parents enjoying their vacation, as well as shots of the huge wave crashing toward the beach. Each photo shows the waves approaching the shore closer and closer. You can view some of these pictures online including the final picture.

It's chilling to consider ones final moments spent snapping pictures in the hopes the memory card would survive to tell the tale. In an increasingly digitized world, less and less will be left unknown. In some small way, this memory card offered comfort to those left behind, therein fulfilling John and Jackie's hopeful intent.

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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.

Weezer - Undone - The Sweater Song
I still remember staying up to watch Late Night with Conan O'Brien because Weezer was on and they were going to play this tune. Then, when Sam the Record Man at Jane and Bloor shut their doors for good, I found the album cheap. It's a good tune, I think you'll like it.

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The Raptors Win The Big One

Raptors LogoVince Carter scored just 22 last night and shot a miserable 8 for 25 from the floor. He committed a foul on Donyell Marshall in the fourth quarter that led to two key free throws and turned the ball over a minute later that led to a game-sealing fast-break layup for Milt Palacio. The final result was an overwhelming 100-82 victory for the Toronto Raptors over Carter's New Jersey Nets.

Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy Joy!

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A torontomike.com Interview With Matthew Good

A MicrophoneMatthew Good is a bonafide Canadian rock star. I've seen him live three times and have two of his discs in my collection. While he was fronting the Matthew Good Band, our radios were inundated with hits like "Everything is Automatic", "Apparitions", "Indestructible", "Rico", "Hello Time Bomb", "Strange Days" and "Load Me Up". As a solo artist, there were further hits with "Weapon", "In a World Called Catastrophe" and "Alert Status Red".

Matthew Good was nice enough to agree to an interview and here it is for your enjoyment.

Q: MBLOG, your blog, is well maintained, intelligent and thoughtful. Is blogging the new crack?
A: For me blog design is the new crack. Filling in the other bits is just a hassle. Unfortunately my knowledge of Perl, and other ridiculous inter-language, is non existent. This deficiency stops me from exploiting truly tech-headed formats, such as Movable Type. I suppose I could learn, but when you're in your mid 30's you are gifted the right to claim yourself too 'stubborn' to bother. I can hardly wait until I'm 60 and am allowed to hate people outright for walking on my lawn.

Q: You're a part of my personal history. On a beautiful 1998 August day in Barrie I moshed to a wicked set by your band before Pearl Jam took the stage. It remains my favourite day of live music. Did you get to meet Eddie and is he a righteous dude?
A: Actually, I played two shows that day. One in the afternoon, which is the one you've mentioned, and then again that night in Kitchener. So after I got off stage I left immediately.

Q: Does a bright, political minded dude like yourself have political aspirations? Prime Minister Matthew Good sounds pretty cool...
A: Not particularly. If this country were actually a proper democracy I might entertain the idea, but I don't do well with plutocracies.

Q: Canadian rock fans were treated to a good ol' fashioned duel a few years back when you and the guys from Our Lady Peace exchanged jabs. Then, there was the crap Chad Kroeger was spilling about you to Rolling Stone. Is there anything you'd like to say about these feuds? This is a fine forum to do so.
A: Not really.

Q: Any chance we'll see you at Edgefest this year?
A: Is there one this year? I thought they did away with it?

Q: Most readers of this site are from the Great White North. Please share with us the details of your Canadian roots. We love CanCon.
A: I've traveled all over the world and been from coast to coast probably 50 plus times. We live in one of the greatest places in the world. We just need to work on strengthening our continental identity and stop endlessly entertaining the overwhelming American neocolonialist assault that is slowly but surely stripping us of our cultural uniqueness.

Q: Three of your singles have been selected by the esteemed Smells Like Sour committee for inclusion on three different editions of SLS. Is it fair to state this is your finest achievement to date?
A: Of course.

Q: When you're listening to tunes at home, who are you listening to these days?
A: I've been listening to a lot of Nina Simone.

Q: What's your favourite movie??
A: Brazil

Q: Is there anything you'd like to share with the torontomike.com faithful?
A: http://www.amnesty.ca

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Formerly Known As Air Canada

Raptors LogoRemember Vince Carter? He used to play for our Toronto Raptors. In fact, he was rookie of the year and a perennial all-star while playing in these parts.

Vince and I had a storied history before he was traded to New Jersey and subsequently admitted he didn't try his best with Toronto.

Tonight, our Raptors are in the swamp to seek revenge. I don't care if the Raptors ever win another game so long as they win tonight. #15 quit on us and started lighting it up the moment he was out of here. Lets humiliate the bastard.

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Pieces vs. The Scientist?

A Music NoteAbout a month ago I wrote about how Sum 41's latest single reminds of The Cranberries' "Zombie". Apparently people think Sum 41's "Pieces" also sounds an awful lot like "The Scientist" from Coldplay.

This MP3 is making the rounds with "The Scientist" by Coldplay in the left channel and "Pieces" by Sum41 in the right channel. Have a listen for yourself.

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2005 Oscar Prediction Contest Countdown

An Academy AwardThe deadline for entering my esteemed 2005 Oscar Prediction Contest is this Thursday at midnight. I'll post everyone's picks Friday morning including a nice printable PDF so you can follow along at home. Shortly after Sunday night I'll post the final results and declare a champion.

To enter, complete this form. You have three days left so tell all your friends, tell the whole bunch.

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The Monday Shuffle

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

  1. Get Free - The Vines
  2. Lets Dance - David Bowie
  3. Last Kiss - Pearl Jam
  4. Nobody Loves Me - Limp Bizkit
  5. Southern Man - Neil Young
  6. Interlude (Milo) - Modest Mouse
  7. The First Day Of School - Ice Cube
  8. Trailer Load A Girls - Shabba Ranks
  9. Little Geneva - Muddy Waters
  10. Come And Die - Therapy? & Fatal

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First SpongeBob Squarepants, Now Shrek

The BibleMove over SpongeBob Squarepants, there's a new sacrificial lamb in town. On its website the Traditional Values Coalition is warning parents about the cross-dressing and transgender themes contained in Shrek 2. In their words, "Shrek 2 is billed as harmless entertainment but contains subtle sexual messages."

Last night, "The Simpsons" did a typically brilliant job of satirizing the entire same-sex marriage debate with Marge putting everything in perfect perspective. "Just because you're a lesbian doesn't make you less of a bein'."

Well said Marge. In the end, isn't it all about recognizing the rights of another being?

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Still Free!

PaypalGood news everyone, the highly entertaining content on this site remains completely free! All of this glorious insight, interesting news, weekly MP3s and cute pictures of my kids continues to cost you absolutely nothing.

I considered putting ads on this site in an attempt to recoup some the costs associated with the domain name and hosting, but I refuse to sell out. This note's for you...completely ad-free.

If you want to throw a quarter in the bucket, I am now accepting donations via Paypal. You certainly don't have to contribute, but if you so desire you can simply click here to make it so. It's Paypal so you know it's secure. I won't bug you with this begging again so if you decide to contribute at a later date you'll find a Paypal button on the very bottom of every page.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayToronto Maple Leafs Declare Themselves 2005 Stanley Cup Champions - "The Toronto Maple Leafs--our nation's favourite hockey team--have ended their 38-year championship drought by declaring themselves 2005 Stanley Cup champions." Why the hell not?

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St. John's Maple Leafs 2, Hamilton Bulldogs 4

The Blue and White Maple LeafIt wasn't exactly the Habs and Leafs going at it yesterday afternoon, but it was their respective farm teams. Antti Miettinen scored two goals to lead the Hamilton Bulldogs to an emotional 4-2 win over the St. John's Maple Leafs in a fight-filled Sunday afternoon at Copps Coliseum. We'll get our revenge Wednesday.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
67 points
4-2 Loss vs. Hamilton
3-2 Loss vs. Rochester
6-1 Win vs. Manitoba
Kyle Wellwood - 63 pts
David Ling - 60 pts
Matt Stajan - 41 pts

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumHunter S. Thompson was 67. He was the hard-living writer who inserted himself into his accounts of America's underbelly and popularized a first-person form of journalism in books such as "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas".

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Caution Deaf Child Playing

A Question MarkOn Saturday we visited friends in Mississauga. On their residential street there were two bright yellow signs that read "Caution Deaf Child Playing".

I had never seen a sign like this before but didn't think anything of it. I understand the purpose is to ensure motorists are more careful not to run over children who may not be able to hear the car approaching. I have two problems with this. For one, no child let alone a deaf child should be on the street to begin with. Secondly, motorists should drive residential neighbourhoods alert for kids whether there is a deaf child nearby or not. Perhaps these signs should be posted in every neighbourhood reading "Caution Children Playing".

This all reminded me of the 80s when "Baby On Board" signs were posted in the rear window of all family cars. Were motorists supposed to think twice before rear ending cars with such a sign? Were childless couples fair game for a round of crash up derby? I'm often driving around Toronto with two children in the back. Am I putting them at risk because I haven't alerted other drivers that they're on board?

Baby on board...something...something...Burt Ward...

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800 x 600

A MouseI recently blew away my vertical main navigation menu in favour of the horizontal sucker you see above. When I built it, it was important to me that it not wrap on a screen resolution of 800 x 600. I've always believed I should build for these people and ensure it still behaves properly for those who are higher.

Today I felt it was time to promote the Smells Like Sour Database to the main menu, but again I checked to ensure it remained as a single line when viewed by the 800 x 600 folk. It does and that's why you now see SLS on the menu above.

Why do I care so much about the 800 x 600 crowd? They're a dwindling bunch and I suspect the people with these tiny monitors and high resolution are the same people who don't know what a blog is and confuse email addresses with URIs. In fact, I seriously doubt more than a handful of visitors to this site have their screen resolution set to 800 x 600 and that's probably because they're unemployed slackers who can't afford to upgrade their eight year old 14 inch CRT. Bless their little hearts.

I'm looking forward to the day we think of the 1024 x 768 set the same way we now view the 800 x 600 people. I've been 1280 x 1024 for quite some time and I'm not looking back. 800 x 600 people be damned. You're either with us, or against us.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 2, Rochester Americans 3

The Blue and White Maple LeafThe Americans won their 15th in a row at home ruining Jean-Sebastien Aubin's solid effort between the pipes in his first game since January 28th. The Leafs remain third in the Northern division, five points ahead of the Edmonton Road Runners who hold a game in hand.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
67 points
3-2 Loss vs. Rochester
6-1 Win vs. Manitoba
4-3 Loss vs. Manitoba
Kyle Wellwood - 62 pts
David Ling - 59 pts
Matt Stajan - 40 pts

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumSandra Dee was 63. She was the blond beauty who attracted a large teen audience in the 1960s with films such as "Gidget" and "Tammy and the Doctor" and had a headlined marriage to pop singer Bobby Darin.

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Premature Ecstatication

A PhoneWas it all a dream? I remember perusing TSN.ca, Sportsnet.ca and ESPN.com on Friday night and reading that the NHL season might not be as dead as we thought. I went bed that night exhausted from a whirlwind week with my hopes up. At about ten to ten, I literally collapsed and fell asleep earlier than I had any day this year.

When the phone rang it felt like the dead of night so I asked Taryn to answer it because it had to be an emergency. It turned out it was only ten o'clock and it was my brother Steve calling to share the great news he saw reported on TSN. The players and league had reached an agreement and the season would be saved Saturday.

I never spoke to Steve because I was sound asleep but once I got the message from Taryn I sprung back to life. I had gone to sleep hopeful, but now Steve was telling me the rumours were true. There would be a season and I felt such ecstasy. I leapt out of bed, jumped on the computer and called Steve to discuss this awesome turn of events.

What Steve had interpreted as fact was instead a report from The Hockey News. I knew it wasn't a sure thing when I saw TSN.ca put a question mark after their headline "Season Saved". I wrote this entry and eventually fell asleep just before midnight fairly certain The Hockey News was right and we'd hear the season was uncancelled Saturday.

When I first heard the good news from Steve I felt as if we were involved in a long war that was now over. I was so happy and my heart was racing a mile a minute. We spoke for almost an hour that night about how much we loved the game and how much we missed it. For moments Friday night, the season was uncancelled and the players were on their way home to suit up for a brief training camp. I was once again planning my Saturday nights around the game, thinking about our playoff pool and dreaming of Stanley. It was so surreal it was dreamlike. The Great One and the Magnificent One had got involved and everything was right in the world once more. It was pure ecstacy.

It was premature. It's as if something I loved was taken away from me, miraculously returned only to be ripped from my grip once more. I was angry before, now I'm just bitter.

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"You know, we're not the only ones destroying trees. What about beavers? You call yourself an environmentalist, why don't you go club a few beavers?"
      - Lindsay Funke, Arrested Development

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An Interview With Raymi

A MicrophoneFrom the man who brought you An Interview With Custom, I'm pleased to share this interview with Raymi. Enjoy.

Q: In the small world of Toronto blogging, your site is one of the more popular destinations. What's the secret to your success?
A: lots of photos, being around for awhile and being consistent, not holding back and or being predictible. in the beginning it was all photos of my face and my body and nudity and getting people interested at looking at me like a poor man's celebrity but after awhile you realise that having a blog with 95 per cent of the photos of you leaning against a wall is boring and overdoing it. my writing is manic and to the point so that holds well with the ADD crowd. i guess i am kind of cynical and funny and cheesy. these aren't really success tips or secrets it's just what i've been doing, what i do.

Q: Better Living Centre, a new Toronto blog, has twice now featured your replies to Rebecca Eckler's Advice to the Lovelorn questions. "Dear Raymi" seems to be a hit, any plans to make this a regular feature?
A: ask them. i have no problem in doing it on a regular basis.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years? Will you still be blogging?
A: i will still be blogging and i will probably be saying I STARTED BLOGGING TEN YEARS AGO to shitbag kids and their mothers. hopefully i won't be old or fat looking.

Q: Most readers of this site are from the Great White North. Please share with us the details of your Canadian roots. We love CanCon.
A: french canadian, welsh, scottish, born in canada.

Q: It seems you've developed an interesting relationship with fellow blogger and Canadian rock star Matthew Good. Give us the straight up goods (pun totally intended) on him. Dude or dud?
A: definitely a dude and hates on people who are only interested in really expensive clothes and has an angry-schtick which i find amusing and he knows a lot about technology unlike other musicians so that's brownie point right there.

Q: Has Matt asked you to guest on his next album? Your bio suggests you have musical roots.
A: no are u retarded?

Q: Your entries are completely void of any punctuation. How were your primary school grammar grades?
A: straight A's. english and spelling were my strongest subjects so naturally that's the first area to slack on. it's fucking irritating when people mention my grammar and punctuation like oh my god she doesn't use periods and commas. who are you the grammar police? it's arty. it's how i think and "create." i think my writing is fine just the way it is and when the time comes, if ever, for me to write properly i am perfectly capable of doing so.

Q: What's your favourite movie?
A: The Professional

Q: Is there anything you'd like to share with the Toronto Mike faithful?
A: my cat scream-cries-meows around the house for hours on end for no reason.

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. As usual, they're all drenched in cuteness.

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Do You Believe In Miracles?

A Hockey PuckNo.

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So Now We Wait

A ClockThe waiting game continues while the NHL and NHL Players' Association meet in New York. Here are my ten favourite songs with the word "wait" in the title.

  1. Waiting In Vain - Bob Marley & The Wailers
  2. Wait And Bleed - Slipknot
  3. I Can't Wait - The White Stripes
  4. Waiting For A Miracle - Bruce Cockburn
  5. (Are You) The One That I've Been Waiting For? - Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds
  6. Waiting - Green Day
  7. True Love Waits - Radiohead
  8. Are We The Waiting - Green Day
  9. Wait Until Tomorrow - Jimi Hendrix
  10. Waiting For A Chance To See Her - Hayden

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream?"

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Do You Believe In Miracles?

A Hockey PuckThe NHL season is expected to be "un-canceled" Saturday in New York, according to The Hockey News.

A nation holds its collective breath. I have 99 reasons to keep the faith.

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Hopes Up

NHLThe media is full of reports that there is a chance that 2004-05 regular season and playoffs could be saved. In fact, there is some speculation that a deal will be struck this weekend.

Great, my hopes are up once more. I was just coming to grips with the reality of Bettman's announcement and now I'm preparing myself for the possibility of NHL hockey this spring.

Should this be a false alarm, I'm really going to be angry. My friend Nick Carter said it best. Bettman and Goodenow: Quit playing games with my heart.

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Help Wanted

ConstructionIf you're a bright person and a good communicator who is interested in selling software in the Greater Toronto Area, please contact me for more details.


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Gord As Ken

The Tragically HipThe Tragically Hip's lead singer Gord Downie was auditioning this week for a role as Hall of Fame goaltender Ken Dryden in a made-for-TV miniseries about the 1972 Summit Series.

As I type this, there is a picture of Paul Henderson celebrating "The Goal" in 1972 on the wall above while "Grace, Too" from The Tragically Hip escapes my speakers. What a lovely collision of passions.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite musicians who died before 40

  1. Kurt Cobain
  2. Jimi Hendrix
  3. Jim Morrison
  4. Janis Joplin
  5. Tupac Shakur

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Playing The Odds

Homer Jay SimpsonSpeaking of same sex marriages, there's one taking place in Springfield this Sunday and we're all invited. This is the much anticipated episode of The Simpsons where a character comes out of the closet and gets married.

Over 3,000 bets have been placed on who's coming out and here are the favourites.

  1. Patti
  2. Smithers
  3. Milhouse
  4. Lenny
  5. Selma

I originally thought it would be Patti too but now I'm thinking they might throw us a curve. Ned coming out would make me laugh the hardest. Cross your fingers.

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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.

Our Health Care system is brutal. My mother spent 6hrs in Emerg. yesterday before she was even SEEN by a doctor. Waiting impatiently in the HALLWAY as she was one of 10 stretchers of patients were waiting to be diagnosed before they were even admitted to EMERG. My mother is a very sick person (stroke, cancer & now kidney failure) & the reply I got most of yesterday was - the Doc. will see her shortly. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I called this AM & was put on hold for more than 10 minutes before the response I got was "We were in a meeting of all EMERG. patients". This afternoon I was told my mother would be eventually admitted - but there were 30 people ahead of her. She will possibly spend the next week in EMERG. waiting for a room or she will be sent back to her nursing home. I spoke openly with a few paramedics in the hallway with their patients & they love this life - bring a patient in & wait all shift in hallways (no other calls) & go home with the responsibilty of 1 patient all day. WHAT A JOKE!! Either pay for these paramedics to do virtually nothing or pay for more doctor's & nurse's to staff EMERG. Dept's in hospitals.

Something has to be done & NOW. Health care has to be FIXED NOW - it's not the nurse's & Doc's fault. There were 2 Doc's, 2 nurse's & 2 interns looking after 20 patients + 10 in the hallway while I was there (4 1/2 hrs) & some patients were quite severe (heart & accident). I feel sorry for these Doc's, nurses & interns who spend 10-12 hrs a day trying to make our lives better but our Gov't doesn't give a *$#@. Wait till one of their loved ones needs medical care - they will probably be 1st in & 1 out. There has to be a medium of misuse of EMERG. dept's & the need for REAL Medicare.

      Twins from Bolton

No doubt, the system must be enhanced. I've heard enough horror stories to know this is true. I don't have an easy answer but I do recommend starting with an email to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. Remind George we deserve better.

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Stepping Up On Bill C-38

The Canadian FlagRead the address by Prime Minister Paul Martin on Bill C-38, the Civil Marriage Act. If you're too lazy to read, play the video while you surf the web. Sometimes I'm unsure about Martin's ability to lead, but on this issue he's stepped up to the plate and hit one out. The following two sentences sum it up nicely.

The people of Canada have worked hard to build a country that opens its doors to include all, regardless of their differences; a country that respects all, regardless of their differences; a country that demands equality for all, regardless of their differences.

If we do not step forward, then we step back. If we do not protect a right, then we deny it. Mr. Speaker, together as a nation, together as Canadians: Let us step forward.

A colleague of mine, aware of my views with regards to this subject, attempted to "enlighten" me this morning. I won't divulge too many details, but the gist of her point was that homosexuality was a violation of God's law and therefore recognizing the rights of a homosexual was a horrid sin. For a little while I tried to reason with her explaining that a literal interpretation of the bible had no place in our law books and that this was question of equal rights and freedoms, but she simply pitied me and condemned me to hell. This colleague of mine is why Bill C-38 absolutely must pass. Hatred cannot be condoned by our laws.

Let us step forward.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayGary Bettman Sucks - Another one of my brilliant ideas stolen. I just enjoy moving my mouse over Bettman's face and hearing his honest declaration.

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2005 Oscar Prediction Contest Reminder

An Academy AwardIf you haven't entered my esteemed 2005 Oscar Prediction Contest, now might be a good time to do so. We're about ten days from the big day and a week away from the contest deadline. To enter, complete this form.

There are already three times more players than last year so I've got to figure out the best way to share everyone's picks.

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Final Thoughts

A Hockey PuckThis will be my final entry on this subject for a while.

  • I wish the Raptors were better. In a perfect world the Raptors would be playoff bound and we'd have playoff games at the ACC this spring. I'll be watching the b-ball, unfortunately I'll be watching bad b-ball.
  • I can't wait for the World Championship this spring. This tournament will have unprecedented attention paid to it as millions seek some sort of replacement for the annual playoff fix they're hooked on. Canada is the defending champion as well as Olympic, World Junior and World Cup champion. Go Canada Go!
  • When the lockout started back in the fall, I started recapping St. John's Maple Leaf games. Last year I recapped every Toronto Maple Leaf game and I wanted a hockey team to follow this season. I must admit I've been enjoying this contingency plan. The Baby Leafs are headed for the playoffs and have solid goaltending and some punch up front. Follow their pursuit of the Calder Cup right here folks.
  • Go Jays Go!
  • Bettman had little interest in negotiating and wanted the season shut down all along. He doesn't care about the sport or the fans, only revenge.
  • When the NHL does resume play, whenever that may be, it's quite possible many of the stars we grew up watching will have retired. We can say farewell to Steve Yzerman, Mark Messier and perhaps our very own Eddie Belfour and Gary Roberts among many, many others. It's not supposed to end this way.
  • The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. Many NHL fans will become indifferent to this and won't care whether this dispute is ever resolved. I can smell the apathy from here.
  • I miss the Hockey Night in Canada theme song. If you have a box of tissue handy and don't mind a good cry, here it is. Consider it a bonus MP3 on this sad Wednesday in Toronto.

That is all.

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An Open Letter to Gary Bettman

The NHL LogoMr. Bettman, you won't know me by name but I am a devout fan of the league you oversee. For as long as I can remember I've been attending NHL games, watching NHL games, purchasing NHL memorabilia and spreading my love for the glorious sport of hockey. It is because of people like me that you have your current job as commissioner of the National Hockey League.

Today you cancelled the 2004-2005 NHL hockey season. As a result, I will be deprived of one of my passions. I won't be celebrating a Maple Leaf goal, feeling that tingle the morning of a Maple Leaf playoff game and exchanging high fives with James and my brothers following a big win. For the first time in a decade we won't be drafting a playoff pool, seeing an always exciting game seven or discussing potential trades at the deadline. For only the second time in the history of the Stanley Cup and for the first time since 1919 that precious mug we dream about as children will go unawarded. We are left with nothing.

The NHL's Players' Association, realizing the season would be lost, agreed to a salary cap. From day one of this lock out we heard you say this was necessary from your standpoint and we heard Mr. Goodenow say this would never happen. It happened, a major hurdle was overcome and you were offered a $49-million salary cap. When your final offer of a $42.5-million US salary cap was refused, you cancelled the season.

History would have seen you as the victor of these negotiations. Salaries would have been immediately rolled back substantially and the heavy spending franchises like my Maple Leafs would have been forced to reduce their payroll in order to fit under the cap you so desperately wanted. You had won but this wasn't enough for you. You went for broke, threw salt in your opponents wounds and did something that has never been done in any professional league at any time. This will go down in history as the first complete season lost and I blame you. You could have taken your tidy victory and done what was best for the sport, for the league and, most importantly, for the fans.

Mr. Bettman, it's no secret you lack a passion for this sport and the history of this great game. One of your first acts as commissioner was to change the historic names of our conferences and divisions to generic regional names. Norris, Smythe, Campbell, these names meant nothing to you but they were named for men who built this game. You discarded them and today you've discarded everything the Stanley Cup means to this nation.

A commissioner should protect the well being of the league. Instead, you've alienated the long standing fans of this game and ensured new fans find another source of entertainment. I should be spending my Saturday nights passing on my love of this game to my three year old son. Once a child falls in love with a sport, he or she will comprise your fan base for several decades to come. Unfortunately, I don't believe you understand this concept. Many are realizing, as Ken Dryden recently stated, that what they thought was passion was actually habit. Life goes on without hockey and this void will be filled. Don't be so naive as to believe all fans will return. The pain you've inflicted will not heal quickly.

Today I am sad, but not surprised. I didn't expect you to do the right thing. I never expected you to give an inch to save a season and permit Stanley's annual tradition to continue. You're the wrong person to fulfill your duties and I won't be satisfied until you're removed. Step aside and allow someone who actually loves hockey and the rich history of the NHL to act as commissioner.

You've done quite enough already.


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The Moment Of Truth

The NHL LogoWe're nine minutes away from Gary Bettman's press conference. We all know what's coming. Go here for a sneak preview.

Seeing this coming doesn't make it hurt any less.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayBig Things - Canada is a big country and we've got some big things here. This link is to big collection of photographs of such big things. Ontariariariarians may want to be Ontario-centric and skip to the Ontario page.

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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.

Ministry - Jesus Built My Hotrod
This is one of the coolest tunes of all time. When I'd hear it on CFNY before heading to Michael Power High School it would make my mornings. It's a love affair...mainly Jesus and my hot rod.

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The Heart Of The Matter

A HeartI realize I'm a day late with this, but better late than never. Last year I posted my ten favourite songs with the word "love" in the title in honour of Valentine's Day. Today I bring you my ten favourite songs with the word "heart" in the title.

  1. Heart-Shaped Box - Nirvana
  2. Boots Or Hearts - The Tragically Hip
  3. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles
  4. Heart Of Gold - Neil Young
  5. Unchain My Heart - Ray Charles
  6. Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart - Stone Temple Pilots
  7. Piece Of My Heart - Janis Joplin
  8. Beat Your Heart Out - The Distillers
  9. Closer To The Heart - Rush
  10. I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother's Heart - The White Stripes

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My Favourite Firefox Extensions

FirefoxI currently have nine Firefox extensions installed. I need to document this list in case I need to configure another browser so I'm just going to list them and briefly explain what they do.

  • Web Developer - Adds a menu and a toobar with various web developer tools.
  • Adblock - Filters ads from web pages.
  • Tabbrowser Preferences - Enhances control over some aspects of tabbed browsing.
  • ForecastFox - Puts my local weather forcast on my status bar.
  • ieview - Opens pages in IE via Firefox menus.
  • FoxyTunes - Controls any media player from Firefox displaying the current song and more.
  • Download Statusbar - Displays status of downloads in an auto-hide statusbar.
  • Disable Targets For Downloads - Prevents download links from opening a blank window.
  • ImageZoomer - An extension to zoom in and out of images via the context menu.

If there are any killer extensions out there I'd enjoy, don't be shy about it.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayThe 100 Funniest Jokes Of All Time - Some of these are actually funny!

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Repugnant Bettman

The NHL LogoWhile I slept last night, the NHLPA agreed to accept a salary cap. This was a most significant concession on their part. The NHL offered to remove its demand for a link between league revenues and player costs, a most significant concession on their part. With this glorious, unexpected progress being made at the eleventh hour, the NHLPA offered to accept a cap at $52 million. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Bettman said no and talks broke down. The NHL won't accept a cap at $52 million but wants $40 million. They're going for broke on this one, even if it destroys the game I love.

Losing this season would be devastating for the NHL. Americans stopped caring long ago and now Canadians are becoming fed up with this pissing contest. To think they'd come this close on February 15th only to flip Stanley the bird over a difference of $12 million per team. It's enough to make me want to scowl.

Once Bettman cancels the season, I'll be sending him a letter and sharing it here. His actions are abhorrent.

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My Interview with Custom

A MicrophoneI wrote earlier this month about how I was corresponding with Custom and how great his new music is. He was nice enough to grant me an interview, and here it is.

Q: Most people know you for your hit single "Hey Mister". That was a few years ago now, when can the people expect to hear some new Custom on the radio?
A: in the spring hopefully.

Q: Jazz composer Maria Schneider took home a Grammy last night for her album "Concert in the Garden," without selling a single copy in a record store. She financed the album through an Internet-based music delivery service that opens the financing of production to dedicated fans. Is this the future?
A: Potentially. I think it's up to people like you who 'the audience' look to for taste. Tastemakers. If the tastemakers of yore are mtv and radio, can the web and maybe satellite radio fill that space somehow? Here is hoping. Also, Ani DF has done the indie thing with great success for years. It's about the artist's dedication and creativity. We are now responsible to think as much about reaching an audience as we are how to make good music. It's a lot but it seems to be reality. I think the days of letting the label do everything are waning.

Q: Most readers of this site are from the Great White North. Please share with us the details of your Canadian roots. We love CanCon.
A: Wild Rose Country. Born and raised in Alberta with stops in Halifax and Vancouver later on to make a movie. I fucking love Canada. I feel especially patriotic even though I am living down here in New York.

Q: Your single "Hey Mister" was selected by the esteemed Smells Like Sour committee for SLS7. Is it fair to state this is your finest achievement to date?
A: By far. Think that in ways The MTV awards for film and music to a degree have surpassed the Oscars and Grammys in their legitimacy with the audience. They are more indicative of true public perception about the work. And MTV is a relatively new thing in the broader timeline. Perhaps SLS will be the next step in the evolution of awards.

Q: I consider INXS's "Kick" to be one of the finest pop-rock albums ever. You directed Michael Hutchence in "Limp" just before his tragic death in 1997. What kind of guy was he? Did you notice anything out of the ordinary with Michael in late '97?
A: Michael was an amazing guy. He was incredibly dedicated, charismatic, creative, fun to be around and down to earth. He was really a 'rock star'. That may sound like a weird thing to say, but there are lots of famous musicians and then there are 'stars'. He had that. Magnetism. Like even people who didn't know him, would feel something, look up when he entered a room.

Q: Speaking of "Limp", why was it never released and how does one get access to it in order to actually view it?
A: Michael passed away shortly after principle photography. That led to a myriad of complications, obviously, that are too vast and complicated to discuss here. There are no plans for release at this point.

Q: What's next for Duane Lavold the filmmaker?
A: Something is brewing. I'll let you know.

Q: What's your favourite movie?
A: So many. I don't know. The obvious ones: Smokey and the Bandit. No. Scarface, Godfather, Apocalypse, Breakfast Club, Fight Club, Trainspotting... I don't know. I like a lot of movies but don't watch enough. Recently, Lost in Translation. I love Bill Murray and S.C. is a fucking brilliant director to make that beautiful a film from such a simple story. Very difficult. Station Agent. Just watched that scene in Miracle last night, where the coach is making the guys skate lines after losing the game to Russia: Again. Again. Again.... then the player says his name, coach says, "who do you play for?" The United States of America. Wow. Scenes like that kill me. It's a perfect scene. So intense, hard to accomplish. Beautiful. Moments. Like songs, that capture an emotion perfectly. That's what it's all about. What we aspire to do as artists. What a fucking scene.

Q: Is there anything you'd like to share with the torontomike.com faithful?
A: Yeah, my new music. Maybe we can arrange for a little preview situation. I have a cool video for the song 'USA' maybe we could get up. Something like that.

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The Monday Shuffle

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

  1. Ricky's Theme - Beastie Boys
  2. Knock On Wood - Otis Redding
  3. Stealth - Bad Religion
  4. Over Now - Alice In Chains
  5. Let Your Backbone Slide - Maestro Fresh Wes
  6. Pulse Of The Rhyme - Ice-T
  7. Soldier Of Love - Pearl Jam
  8. Jesus Of Suburbia - Green Day
  9. Hey Daddy - Korn
  10. My Daddy's Getting Married - Bif Naked

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumDick Weber was 75. He was one of bowling's first national stars and a three-time bowler of the year.

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Corporate Branding Of Our Young

MoneyA few months ago James got a treat of the week at McDonalds. It was a little Elasticgirl from "The Incredibles". Yesterday he was playing with this toy and I aked him what it was. He told me it was Elasticgirl and he got it from McDonalds.

They sure know what they're doing at McDonalds. 50¢ of plastic and my three year old is branded pro-McDonalds, pro-Disney and pro-Pixar in one flail swoop.

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Happy Valentine's Day

A HeartI'm lucky enough to enjoy romantic love. I've been enjoying it for a decade now and have two amazing kids as a result. I suppose I should be all about Valentine's Day, but I'm not.

It all seems so bloody contrived. As Hallmark holidays go, this one is pretty flimsy. You love a woman 365 days a year and because the calendar reads February 14 you're expected to bring home flowers or candy or more. I don't understand the significance. I don't buy into this phony baloney holiday even a little bit. Having said that...

Happy Valentine's Day Taryn. I love you.

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Across the Universe To Buy Earplugs

A GrammyI watched most of the Grammys last night. Some stuff I enjoyed, like the Jamie Foxx & Alicia Keys tribute to Ray Charles, Green Day's "American Idiot" and the entire Kanye West "Jesus Walks" set. Some stuff was entirely underwhelming, most notably the all-star rendition of "Across the Universe".

"Across the Universe" is a gorgeous tune. I was quite looking forward to Billie Joe Armstrong, Steven Tyler, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, Velvet Revolver, Tim McGraw, Brian Wilson, Bono and Stevie Wonder giving it a go for tsunami relief. They didn't do the tune justice, in fact, it was pretty damn mediocre.

Scott Weiland wasn't bad but he was clearly doing a David Bowie impersonation. Listening to the tape this morning you'd have thought that was Ziggy Stardust on stage. It could have been something special for charity but instead it was a bit of a mess. Perhaps they should have tried rehearsing first?

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A Nation's Hopes and Howard Shore

A GrammyToronto-born Howard Shore won two Grammys last night for "Lord of the Rings". The first was for best score soundtrack album for "Return of the King" and the other was for co-writing Annie Lennox's "Into the West". All other awards, except for Peter Buchanan-Smith's award for the packaging on Wilco's A Ghost Is Born, went to non-Canadians.

Thank you Howard. Thank you for carrying an entire nation on music's biggest night.

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Sympathy Growth

ScissorsJames has never had a haircut. We've trimmed a bit off the bangs a few times so the dude could see where he's going, but that's about it. Taryn and I both love his hair long and curly as if that's preserving his youth. Neither of us want to see him with an actual haircut for fear he'll look like the little boy he's become.

We've decided that in May, just before a summer of playing outdoors, I'll take James to get his first actual haircut by a professional. As a sign of true fraternity, I've decided that I'll get my next haircut during that same visit to the barber. This won't be easy as I'm probably due for a cut now, but a little sympathy growth won't kill me.

My thick, shaggy mane is going to get a lot worse between now and then. Please don't stare and giggle.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 6, Manitoba Moose 1

The Blue and White Maple LeafKyle Wellwood had a goal and two assists and Harold Druken and David Ling each had a two point night as the St. John's Maple Leafs rebounded to trounce the Manitoba Moose 6-1 last night. That's the way (aha aha) I like it.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
67 points
6-1 Win vs. Manitoba
4-3 Loss vs. Manitoba
4-3 Win vs. Rochester
Kyle Wellwood - 62 pts
David Ling - 59 pts
Matt Stajan - 39 pts

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"Sittin' here resting my bones,
And this loneliness won't leave me alone
It's two thousand miles I roamed
Just to make this dock my home."
      - Otis Redding, (Sittin') On The Dock Of The Bay

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Just The Facts

iTunesLast weekend, I started using iTunes to organize and play my MP3s. iTunes makes sorting really easy and gives you access to some interesting facts. Here's what I learned by glancing at my iTunes player.

First song when sorted alphabetically: #9 Dream - John Lennon
Last song when sorted alphabetically: Zooropa - U2
First artist when sorted alphabetically: 10CC
Last artist when sorted alphabetically: ZZ Top
Shortest song, excluding songs of silence: Jim Backus - 3rd Bass @ 0:04
Longest song, excluding songs with large periods of silence within: Echoes - Pink Floyd @ 23:27
First album when sorted alphabetically: (What's the Story) Morning Glory? - Oasis
Last album when sorted alphabetically: Zooropa - U2
Total number of songs in my collection: 8840
Time required to play entire collection without repeating a song: 23 days

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A TeardropGary Bettman will follow my lead any day now and cancel the 2004-2005 NHL season. This entry isn't about that but about a Maple Leaf memory I can't erase from my psyche, no matter how hard I try.

In March 2003, Pat Quinn traded for Doug Gilmour at the deadline. #93 was returning for one last kick at the can, one final playoff run in front of the fans who worship him like a god. I remember the joy I felt learning of the trade, donning my #93 jersey and sitting down in front of the television to watch his glorious return on that fateful Thursday night.

4:51. That how long Gilmour played during his return to the blue and white before being hobbled. Four minutes and fifty-one seconds. His season and career was over and we wouldn't advance past the first round of the playoffs that spring.

I'm haunted by that image of Gilmour lying on the ice in pain, crawling with all remaining strength towards the Leafs bench. It wasn't supposed to end that way. That wasn't in the script.

Bettman, I have different thoughts about you that I'll share at a later time. For now, I'm thinking of that 4:51 and what could should have been.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayACME Heart Maker - Apparently, Valentine's Day is Monday. Go on and make your own candy valentine for that guy or gal you're crushing on.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Manitoba Moose 4

The Blue and White Maple LeafJosh Green scored the winning shootout goal to help the Manitoba Moose defeat the St. John's Maple Leafs 4-3 in American Hockey League play last night. Each team scored once in the first round of five shots and Jason King of the Moose and the Leafs' Kyle Wellwood traded goals to open scoring the second round of sudden death. Green scored on Manitoba's next shot, but David Ling rang a blast off the post on St. John's opportunity giving Manitoba the extra point.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
65 points
4-3 Loss vs. Manitoba
4-3 Win vs. Rochester
3-1 Loss vs. Rochester
Kyle Wellwood - 59 pts
David Ling - 57 pts
Matt Stajan - 39 pts

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"First you don't want me to get the pony, then you want me to take it back. Make up your mind!"

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Custom Fit

A Music NoteCustom emailed me 14 MP3s of tunes he's considering for his new album, requesting my honest feedback. I got the MP3s yesterday and began playing them while I worked yesterday and today. Then, I burned them to CD and played them in the car on the way home this afternoon. Then, I played the CD on the living room stereo while we ate our dinner.

Although at first I wasn't sure, I knew there was something special happening when I caught myself singing each song out loud and felt my heart rate increase as it does when I'm hearing tunes I dig. This is an amazing collection of music that I'm just loving. I caught myself enjoying these tracks late this afternoon but couldn't tell if I was listening with rose coloured headphones because I'm getting an exclusive and I've become friends with the artist himself. Because I knew I was tainted with this bias, I actually tried not to love these tunes. I wanted to tell Duane a few of the tunes were duds. I wanted to give him a list of songs he'd best keep on the cutting room floor. I didn't want to be a starf*cker, telling the artist everything he touches is gold when I know it's not.

Instead I'm left totally digging all fourteen songs. I like each one for a different reason and there's not one I'm skipping over at this point. In fact, I'm no longer listening because Duane wants my feedback but because it's already my favourite album of 2005. It's a more mature Custom with some beautiful compositions and thought provoking lyrics. It's a little slower than fans of "Hey Mister" would expect, but it's slightly melancholy nature reminds me of Hayden and Nick Cave with a sprinkle of Hip Hop thrown in the mix.

I haven't yet shared this feedback with Duane but I will shortly. He promised me earlier today to send me a few more files so I'll wait to hear those. If they're as good as the first fourteen I've heard, this could be quite the album.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite movies featuring Renée Zellweger.

  1. Nurse Betty
  2. Me, Myself & Irene
  3. Bridget Jones's Diary
  4. Jerry Maguire
  5. Deceiver

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumArthur Miller was 89. He was the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright whose most famous fictional creation, Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman," came to symbolize the American Dream gone awry.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Rochester Americans 3

The Blue and White Maple LeafSt. John's Maple Leafs snapped the Rochester Americans' eight-game win streak with this shootout win. Kyle Wellwood netted a pair of goals in the shootout and a goal and an assist in regulation time to lead the charge.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
64 points
4-3 Win vs. Rochester
3-1 Loss vs. Rochester
4-3 Win vs. Hamilton
David Ling - 57 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 57 pts
Matt Stajan - 38 pts

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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, are you an official spokesperson for firefox?...do you get paid for all the promo you do?

Everytime Firefox respects a piece of code included as part of the W3C's standards, I get paid. Everytime I run SpyBot and find zero pieces of spy ware on my computer, I get paid. Everytime I tab, I get paid. You see, in a sense, we all own Firefox. It's ours. It's yours. It's wonderful.

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Leno or Letterman?

A TVAmericans, it seems, are either Leno or Letterman fans, much like they're either Republican or Democrat. It's an easy way to find out what kind of person you're dealing with. The answer to this Leno or Letterman question reveals a great deal about your subject.

I'm not the world's biggest Letterman fan, but as far as I'm concerned there's no question who I'd tune in to watch. It's not even close, you've got to choose Letterman. Anyone who prefers Leno to Letterman is the soulless spawn of Satan himself. He's as bland as salt-free rice cakes with water. Letterman, on the other hand, has a bit of an edge and appears to be infinitely more sincere and interesting as a human being. I don't think I could associate with someone who answers Leno to this question.

It should be said that Leno more often than not outdraws Letterman. Then again, "Arrested Development" is wrapping its second season a month early, sitting out the May sweeps (as it did last year) and, at the network's behest, produced fewer than the usual 22 episodes. The funniest show on television most likely won't see a third season. People aren't watching "Arrested Development" but stay up late for Leno's crapfest.

Shit sells but I ain't buyin'.

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It's About Time

Yahoo!Yahoo! has finally unveiled it's toolbar for Firefox. You can download it here. It's about bloody time.

Any company developing browser plug-ins that don't work with Firefox don't get it. Every month Internet Explorer's share of the browser market gets smaller and smaller as people wise up and discover Firefox. I could go on about why Firefox is a million times better than Internet Explorer but it's far easier to simply direct you here, here and here.

Those tricky bastards at Yahoo! have me referring to their company as Yahoo! when it would be easier to call them Yahoo. What kind of slave to the corporate masses am I that I always add that damn exclamation mark at the end. When I start reversing the "R" in Toys R Us I'll know I have a problem.

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No Rest For The Wicked

An Exclamation PointWhat a day. I'm only now coming up for air. For all I know Canada is at war with Iceland, the NHL and the NHLPA have reached a deal and Dubya has resigned.

I just checked the news and it doesn't appear any of the above has happened. Between my clean install of XP and a series of meetings I've been out of commission since about 06:30 EST this morning.

When I finally installed all my applications and got back online I had a series of interesting emails awaiting me from Custom. You may recall he and I exchanged emails last month. As promised, Custom has sent me fourteen tracks he's produced in L.A. so I can provide him with my honest feedback. I'm going to do just that. I'm going to play them while I work and tell it like it is. I may just be able to influence what cuts make the album. Here are the titles I'll be hearing:

  • Goodbye
  • One Day (UK)
  • Catch Me
  • Yes Dear
  • Beautiful
  • Field
  • Love Letter
  • USA
  • Fogg
  • I Believe
  • Funny How
  • Shoot First
  • Television
  • Truth

I don't understand why more recording artists don't follow Custom's lead and send me the MP3s before their disc is pressed. That's what I'm here for.

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The Crosby Show

A Hockey PuckPeriodically I like to check in on 17-year-old phenom Sydney Crosby and see how he's doing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Last night he scored two goals and added three assists to lead the streaking Oceanic to an 8-3 win over the Quebec Remparts. What makes this all the more impressive is the fact Crosby had to serve a ten minute misconduct penalty during the third period.

For those of you following along at home that's 120 points for the season, and 22 goals and 23 assists during the Oceanic's season-high 14-game unbeaten streak.

The Crosby Show continues to entertain.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumJimmy Smith was 79. He helped change the sound of jazz by almost single-handedly introducing the soulful electric riffs of the Hammond B-3 organ.

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Clean Install Preparation

A MouseIt's that time again. On my work PC, I'm going to have to reinstall my two year old installation of Windows XP Pro. It's been on a downward spiral for a couple of months now, but there are so many things I have to do after a clean install I've been putting this inevitable moment off. It can wait no longer.

As a result, I'm preparing to get back to where I need to be in as little time as possible. Below are the applications I will install immediately following the installation of XP Pro.

  • Firefox - Always your first install
  • iTunes - For playing my MP3s
  • Office Suite - A necessary evil
  • Trillian - My preferred instant messenger client for communicating throughout the day with the Yahoo! users and MSN faithful
  • WS FTP - My preferred FTP client
  • Putty - My preferred telnet/ssh client
  • Win SCP - A great SFTP and SCP client for Windows
  • Snag-It - A great little screen capture utility
  • QuickTime Player - For videos
  • Search and Replace 98 - A time saver for a heavy duty XHTML guy like me
  • Audiograbber - For ripping CDs to MP3
  • Spybot S&D - For protecting my PC from spyware
  • Nero - For burning CDs
  • Adobe Acrobat - For producing PDF

Then there are various Firefox plugins, anti-virus software and work-specific applications that are forced upon me. This should be fun.

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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.

Broken Social Scene - Cause = Time
I've been spinning You Forgot It In People, the awesome disc from Broken Social Scene. My first introduction to this band came about a year ago in the form of "Cause = Time".

I hope you dig it as much as I do.

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Homer Jay Simpson"The Simpsons" was seen by it's biggest audience in 11 years Sunday night, but I taped it and watched it last night. In the episode, Comic Book Guy posts Homer's "Big Ass Baryshnikov" dance on his website, www.dorks-gone-wild.com. Homer becomes famous as people all over the world visit the site to watch this video.

The cool thing is, www.dorks-gone-wild.com actually exists. Visit the page and you'll see the page shown on Sunday night's episode. You can even view "Big Ass Baryshnikov", download "Big Ass Baryshnikov" wallpaper or send a "Big Ass Baryshnikov" e-card. Very cool!

Speaking of Comic Book Guy, it's revealed in this episode that his real name is Jeff Albertson. Add that to your Simpsons trivia stockpile.

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Best Soap Opera Ever

The Raptors LogoIf I told you I don't follow the soaps I'd be lying. You see, I follow the Toronto Raptors, the best soap opera ever.

Win or lose, the Raptors are always entertaining. It seems like it's always been this way. There was Charles Oakley, the Butch Carter saga, Antonio Davis' trade demand, years of Vinsanity culminating in this summers trade demand and recent departure for New Jersey and now it's Rafer Alston's turn to step into the spotlight.

In Cleveland last night, Alston and Sam Mitchell got into a halftime confrontation which resulted in Alston being ushered out of Gund Arena by a phalanx of security guards. At least one security guard claims fists were flying between Alston and Mitchell who have a strained relationship to say the least.

Is Alston on his way out of town? What will Mr. Quote Jalen Rose have to say about it? 3.5 games out of a playoff spot, can the Raps make a run and sneak in? 1.5 points behind Vince's Nets, can we beat the cheat? Don't miss the best soap in town.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 1, Rochester Americans 3

The Blue and White Maple LeafThe Rochester Americans defeated the St. John's Maple Leafs 3-1 tonight at Mile One Stadium to extended their winning streak to eight games. Nathan Barrett scored the lone goal for the Leafs who seek revenge tonight.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
62 points
3-1 Loss vs. Rochester
4-3 Win vs. Hamilton
3-2 Win vs. Hamilton
David Ling - 57 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 55 pts
Matt Stajan - 38 pts

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Mike Logan Returns

A TVI watch a lot of "Law & Order", in fact, I used to watch every episode over and over again when I had more free time. Detective Mike Logan was always my favourite character and I considered him the heart of the original series.

Chris Noth will return permanently to the "Law & Order" fold next year when he joins the cast of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," sharing top billing with Vincent D'Onofrio. This is great news for fellow fans of Mike Logan. I've been waiting a long time for the return of the Mick.

"My mother used to hold a rosary in one hand while she beat me with the other. The next time I enter a church, six of my closest buddies will be carrying me." - Detective Mike Logan

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumKeith Knudsen was 56. He was the longtime Doobie Brothers drummer who was part of the band during a string of hits that included "Taking it to the Streets" and "Black Water".

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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 don't want to overkill an issue, or beat a dead horse in to the ground... WAIT. In this case I do. The dead horse I refer to is Vincent Carter. I will beat that particular horse!

Could he make it any more obvious as to how he screwed over our Franchise? Eric Williams and Aaron Williams?? For what he is doing??? He is leading New Jersey to the promised land. How many people watch highlights over the past weeks only to get a "deja-vu" of "THE NEXT JORDAN" in his first year or two with the Raptors!!! He doesn't go a game without hitting 40 pts and has come close to two triple doubles in the past week alone!

It is hard to explain how much I dislike Vince Carter at this moment. Am I happy for him?? NO!!!! I would like him to get injured immediately.... someone watch THE KARATE KID and learn that move that took Daniel Son out of Competition in the big tournament. Vince doesn't have the heart that Daniel LaRusso had!!!!! He wouldn't return to competition!! Not Vince... He's no Daniel LaRusso.


"Sweep the leg. Do you have a problem with that? No mercy." Kreese knew how to play hardball, and you're right, Vince Carter is no Daniel-san.

I don't even like writing about him anymore. It turns my stomach. I don't think I've ever been this hurt by a professional athlete. I'm running out of tears.

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Grey Cup vs. Super Bowl: A Ratings Comparison

The CFL LogoNew England's victory over Philadelphia on Sunday drew 3.1 million viewers on Global Television in Canada. Toronto's Grey Cup victory over B.C. in November drew 4.012 million viewers on CBC. It wasn't even close.

Canada's gold-medal hockey win over the United States at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics remains the Canadian sporting even ratings champ with more than 10 million English and French-language CBC viewers tuning in.

This is proof positive that Canadians still prefer Canadian events. All remains as it should.

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Google Maps

The Google LogoGoogle has launched Google Maps, dynamic, interactive maps that are draggable. I've been playing around with it this morning and the interface is awesome. Since these maps are draggable, you can use your mouse or the directional arrows to pan left, right, up and down to see areas that are hidden offscreen. You can also use the slider to zoom in and zoom out. It really is a pleasure to use.

For the power-mapper, there are cool keyboard shortcuts.

  • use the arrow keys to pan left, right, up and down
  • the page up, page down, home and end keys let you pan out even wider
  • the plus (+) key lets you zoom in and the minus key (-) is for zooming out

In a perfect world, Google would develop an operating system. They really seem to get this Internet thing.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayThe 2005 Super Bowl Ads Showcase - This site has collected all the commercials from Super Bowl XXXIX for us Canadians to watch. They also have the ads that were banned.

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The Monday Shuffle

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

  1. Edith North Johnson & Henry Brown - Nickel's Worth Of Liver
  2. Linkin Park - Crawling
  3. Pearl Jam - Daughter ("It's Okay" tag)
  4. Outkast - The Whole World
  5. Stone Temple Pilots - Adhesive
  6. Blackflies - Gordon Downie
  7. DJ Danger Mouse - Change Clothes
  8. John Lennon - Watching The Wheels
  9. Limp Bizkit - Drown
  10. Nirvana - Blew

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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 have always loved music and my love began some 40 odd years ago when I would listen to 1050 Chum every day and night. I did not come from a family where music was of any interest and so I seemed a little unusual to my family at the time. Bob McAdorey was the DJ that caught my interest during those years. It was during his era on Chum that my love for music and radio listening became affirmed. He was the good looking guy who caught our interest. It was the radio station to listen to at that time and many a fifty year old will confirm this. Thank you Bob McAdorey for helping to give me my love and appreciation for music until this day. You will be sadly missed by my generation.


Anyone who inspires a generation to rock is to be missed. Thank you for sharing your memories of Mac with us.

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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.

blog: "And now for something completely different, is anyone else tired of watching the Pats win the Super Bowl?"

I thought that maybe the Eagles had it in them after their first scoring drive, but they soon proved me wrong. The better team won, no question about it. Way too many bad throws & dropped balls and a terrible two-and-a-bit-minute drill cost them the game. The entire offense (and McNabb in particular) should beg the Philly defense's forgiveness.

On the other hand, they beat the spread. As far as Vegas is concerned, Philly won after all. Maybe that's all that matters. :)

      Mike H.

The game was there for the picking, that's for sure. Philly just didn't bring it. The door was open but they weren't eager to step inside. T.O. was quoted earlier this week as saying God was his doctor and his doctor told him he could play. Once again, God was right. I hear he's taking new patients too.

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There Oughta Be A Law

The Scales of JusticeBill Clinton should shoulder most of the blame. "Pulp Fiction" was released in 1994, smack dab in the middle of slick Willie's first term as President of the United States of America. That gave him six years during which time he could have worked to get passed a law prohibiting the use of John Travolta and Uma Thurman in a theatrical dancing scene. The law never saw the light of day and now we're going to suffer the unholy consequences.

During yesterday's Super Bowl, I saw an advertisement for "Be Cool", a sequel to "Get Shorty". Part of this teaser trailer for "Be Cool" is a scene in which John Travolta and Uma Thurman are dancing, much like their characters danced at Jack Rabbit Slim's in "Pulp Fiction". This, my friends, is sacrilege. "Be Cool" is trying to steal a trace of the "three little Fonzies" coolness "Pulp Fiction" was drenched in. It had better not detract one iota from that 1994 gem of a flick.

It's unethical, it's amoral and there should have been a law to prevent it. I blame Clinton.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumBob McAdorey was 69. He was a long time DJ with CHUM and later a Global TV fixture.

I remember him well from his days on Global TV as an afternoon entertainment reporter. He was a funny dude and will be missed.

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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.

Paul's halftime show was awesome. To bad you don't realize He wrote Live & Let Die before your 2nd hand band (GNR)copied it (a bad copy). I was fortunate enough to see him live at the ACC 2 years ago & it was a concert I will never forget. Being 60+ years old, he STILL ROCKS. Music still lives on

      A Rocker from the 60's-70's

Everyone else who completely missed my point, please raise your hand.

I happen to know Paul McCartney wrote "Live And Let Die". I was openly wondering how many kids watching thought it was a cover. Thanks for completely blowing the subtlety of my humourous aside.

And now for something completely different, is anyone else tired of watching the Pats win the Super Bowl? It's become as tedious as watching McCartney stroll through yet another round of "Hey Jude".

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Nice Cover, Paul

A Musical NotePaul McCartney is singing "Live And Let Die" during the Super Bowl half-time show as I write this.

I wonder how many kids watching think it's pretty damn cool that he's covering Guns N' Roses.

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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 thought I'd let everyone know I bought a 19" benQ LCD monitor... $429.00 at Futureshop.. this is great! I'm sure this will be of great interest to all... maybe not but who cares I have an LCD screen!


Now I feel bad about my Samsung 17" SyncMaster 171s. Can ya spot me $429?

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. They're all from this weekend and they're all of the kiddies.

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SLS13 Submissions

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

I've submitted "Dead Disco" by Metric, "Cigaro" by System of a Down and "Little Sister" by Queens of the Stone Age.

I'm a big fan of all three bands and they don't disappoint with these singles. In particular, I'm totally digging "Cigaro". It's another fast paced, totally manic, rockin' treat from this awesome band. Hear for yourself.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3

The Blue and White Maple LeafSt. John's trailed 3-0 heading into the last minute of the second period but mounted a successful comeback winning on Jeremy Williams' goal in the last attempt of the shootout round.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
62 points
4-3 Win vs. Hamilton
3-2 Win vs. Hamilton
4-3 Loss vs. Milwaukee
David Ling - 57 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 55 pts
Matt Stajan - 38 pts

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Test Driving iTunes

iTunesI listen to a lot of music. When I'm on the computer I'm always shuffling my MP3s in Winamp, immersing myself in tunage. Winamp has been my player of choice for quite some time now.

I had read positive things about the iTunes player from Apple but I was hesitant to give it a go because I'm quite happy with Winamp and I was fearful of how integrated Apple's player might be with their iTunes store. I don't want an app to mess with my files, I just want it to help me access and play them.

A colleague of mine tried iTunes first and told me it was better than Winamp. Upon hearing this from someone I trust, I knew I had to give it a whirl. This weekend I uninstalled Winamp and installed iTunes 4.7.1. I hate to say it, but this is a better player. It's just as light on it's feet but it's got a better interface for sorting my MP3s, searching my MP3s and even quickly referencing information such as the last time a file was played and how often it's been played. Winamp and I have shared many fine moments over the past seven years but I doubt I'll be reinstalling it. iTunes is a better player.

If you're interested in downloading and installing Apple's iTunes 4.7.1, here's the link. It was extremely easy to give iTunes the message I had no interest in their store and they haven't tried to sell me something since.

Rock on!

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"I'll be honest with you, I love his music, I do, I'm a Michael Bolton fan. For my money, it doesn't get any better than when he sings "When a Man Loves a Woman"."
      - Bob Slydell, Office Space

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Our Flag Sucks

Toronto City HallMost Torontonians don't even realize we have an official city flag. It was adopted in October, 1999 and consists of the twin towers of City Hall on a blue background, with the red maple leaf of the flag of Canada at its base, representing the council chamber at the base of the towers. The shape of the space above and between the towers suggests a letter "T" for Toronto. Have a look.

I think the space above and between the towers suggests a letter "T" for terrible. No sir, I don't like it. If I were designing a new flag for the city of Toronto, I'd go with a racoon knocking over a curb-side garbage can or a smiling scalper outside the ACC during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Anything is better than this.

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Super Bowl XXXIX

The NFL LogoTomorrow at 18:30 EST, they'll play Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, Florida. The New England Patriots are looking for their third title in four years while the Philadelphia Eagles seek their first-ever championship.

If I were putting a loonie down on the outcome, I'd go with the Patriots. They've been here before, are well coached and everyone knows defense wins championships. The T.O. factor is intriguing, but at the end of the day the Patriots are the better team.

Once again, I'll miss all the anticipated ads and will be forced to see a dozen or so commercials for "Falcon Beach" and "The Apprentice", but at least I'll catch the decent ones on the web. If you're looking for some pre-Super Bowl reading, I recommend the Snopes page on Super Bowl legends.

Don't turn off your televisions immediately after the game either. Homer seeks Ned's help when he is asked to choreograph the Super Bowl halftime show in "Homer & Ned's Hail Mary Pass". I'm so there.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumGnassingbe Eyadema was 68. He was the president of Togo and Africa's longest-ruling leader.

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

The Blue and White Maple LeafDavid Ling scored his 19th goal of the season on a power-play 2:45 in overtime to give the Leafs a 3-2 victory over the Bulldogs last night. Goaltender Jean-Francois Racine kept the St. John's in the game, making 39 saves in the victory.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
60 points
3-2 Win vs. Hamilton
4-3 Loss vs. Milwaukee
5-2 Loss vs. Milwaukee
David Ling - 56 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 53 pts
Matt Stajan - 37 pts

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"It's like the story of David and Goliath, except this time David won."

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A Movie ReelRay: 8 out of 10.

For two and a half hours, Jamie Foxx was Ray Charles. The only thing better than his sensational performance was the soundtrack. Just listening to this flick is enjoyable.

I know who I'm picking in the pool.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumOssie Davis was 87. He was an actor distinguished for roles dealing with racial injustice on stage, screen and in real life. I remember him best from his appearance in three Spike Lee films, "School Daze," "Do the Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever."

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They Weren't All Happy Days

A TVLast night I caught some of the "Happy Days" 30th anniversary special. There was a time in the early 80s when "Happy Days" was one of my favourite shows. It was on every afternoon and I thought it was the next best thing to "The Dukes of Hazzard".

Watching the reunion clip show last night made me realize how cheesy that show was. As a kid you don't notice cheese, in fact, as a kid you prefer cheese. If "Happy Days" were airing in 2005 I'd avoid it like the the plague. Too much cheese is bad for the heart.

Even as a kid I couldn't forgive "Happy Days" for making one of the worst decisions in television history. They had an ultra cool opening sequence set to Bill Haley and the Comets' "Rock Around The Clock" and then they switched to a piece of crud called "Happy Days" by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox. What were they thinking?

I've had my fill of cheese. I've grown intolerant.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite movies featuring Ossie Davis

  1. Do The Right Thing
  2. Jungle Fever
  3. The Client
  4. Malcolm X
  5. Grumpy Old Men

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumMax Schmeling was 99. He was the heavyweight champion whose two fights with Joe Louis set off a propaganda war between the Nazi regime and the United States on the eve of World War II.

I've been tracking celebrity deaths since September 2000 and this is the first time I've added somebody I thought was already dead. Did anyone think Schmeling was still alive?

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This Can't Be Good

A SnowflakeHere it is February 4th and we've got our first smog alert of the year. Typically they call these alerts during heat waves but there's no heat wave this week, despite the fact we're looking at 7°C this weekend.

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. They're all from this past weekend.

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2005 Oscar Prediction Contest Comments

An Academy AwardHave you entered my little Oscar prediction contest yet? If you haven't, complete this form.

You'll notice the final field is simply titled "Trash Talk". That's sort of a miscellaneous textarea for participants to say whatever they want. Most don't put anything in this space, but some do and here they are thus far.

"i dont know anything about the majority of these films and they prolly all suck anyway." - raymi

"Guesses all the way this year, though I am rooting for Jamie Foxx." - Mike H.

"Even tho its not nominated never ever see Alone In the Dark... its SO fucking bad!" - Nickki

"I have never seen any of these movies." - Hayley

"Johnny Depps second nomination in two years it is his time to take oscar home!! Glad to see the Passion of the Christ was at least nominated in two categories although it didnt get a nod for best picture....you go Mel!!" - Lindda

Now go and make your predictions. Feel free to trash talk too.

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I Choo-Choo-Choose You

A HeartThe "I Choo-Choo-Choose You" Valentine's Day card is legendary amongst fans of "The Simpsons". Lisa gives this card to Ralph in episode 9F13 "I Love Lisa" and pure hilarity ensues.

This guy has done us all a great service and has made the card available online. Download it and share it with someone you love. I know I will.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumJohn Vernon was 72. He was the star of the 1960s drama "Wojeck" before moving on to a career in Hollywood.

I remember him fondly as Dean Vernon Wormer in "Animal House". "The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me."

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumDan Lee was 35. He was the Toronto animator who designed the character of Nemo for the blockbuster Pixar film "Finding Nemo". He also helped animate "A Bug's Life", "Toy Story 2", "Monsters, Inc." and a 2007 Pixar release.

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McDoug and the 10¢ Raise

MoneyAn entry earlier this week reminded me of a time long ago when I was making minimum wage. For about a year before joining Oshawa Foods as a grocery clerk, I flipped burgers at McDonalds.

I vividly remember the moment I knew I couldn't stay much longer at the fast food chain. After a year of service, I had a meeting with the manager, a man we called McDoug. McDoug was to give me a review and inform me as to what kind of raise I was in store for. I'll never forget the extremely serious expression on his face when he told me I'd be making an extra dime an hour as a result of my good performance.

I had to bite my lip to prevent myself from laughing hysterically. I can still taste the blood. Even as a teen I was intelligent enough to realize that during a typical 25 hour work week I'd be seeing an increase of $2.50 on my gross pay. I would have been happier to learn I wasn't getting any increase. Receiving a 10¢ "raise" was akin to receiving a slap in the face.

Immediately following my meeting with McDoug I set the wheels in motion to flee the coop. Thanks McDoug, wherever you are.

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Sorry Ted, I Ain't Playing Your Game

The Bluejays LogoThe new name of SkyDome is.... Rogers Centre.

That's horrible! What an awful, awful name. I knew they'd throw the name "Rogers" in there but I was hoping they might simply call it Rogers SkyDome. Roger Centre?!?! Sorry Ted, I ain't playing your game.

You will never, ever hear me refer to the Jays' home field as Rogers Centre. It will always be SkyDome to me.

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SkyDome No More?

The Bluejays LogoThis morning may be the last time we can rightfully call SkyDome, SkyDome. At some point this morning, the Rogers Empire will unveil a new name for the chunk of concrete our Jays lovingly call home. This is all part of their wily scheme to attract fans to the stadium, as the Jays will also announce a new state-of-the-art scoreboard and new artificial turf, one that has the look and feel of natural grass.

I have a better idea. Instead of new artificial turf that looks and feels like natural grass, lets put in natural grass! As for the name, I'll reserve judgment until I hear what it is. I'm going to guess they'll call it Rogers SkyDome, Rogers Dome or something wonderfully corporate like that. What a surprise.

I'll post my reaction to the new name just as soon as it's unveiled. Stay tuned.

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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.

Alice In Chains - Would?
One of my favourite bands of all time is Alice In Chains. I loved their sound, a grungy mix of desperation rock and angst. "Would?" appeared on the cool Singles soundtrack and their absolutely awesome album Dirt.

If by some chance Dirt isn't in your collection, you're missing out on one of the finest albums of the 90s. Dirt is a listen-through that I spin all the damn time. Enjoy "Would?".

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St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Milwaukee Admirals 4

The Blue and White Maple LeafThe Maple Leafs failed to protect a third-period lead for the first time at home this season. With Jean-Sebastien Aubin and Mikael Tellqvist both injured and unavailable for St. John's, Jean-Francois Racine got the call in goal for the home side, making 30 saves.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
58 points
4-3 Loss vs. Milwaukee
5-2 Loss vs. Milwaukee
3-2 Win vs. Cleveland
David Ling - 55 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 53 pts
Matt Stajan - 36 pts

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The Crappy New MSN Search

A HyperlinkMicrosoft has launched the new MSN Search engine. You'll be subjected to quite the marketing blitz over the next while as Bill Gates tries to convince you his search engine is better than Google.

I paid my first visit to the MSN search page today as curiosity got the better of me and I conducted a search for Mike Boon. When I conduct this very same search with Google, this site is the number one result. How did I do with the crappy new MSN Search you may ask? There was no sign of this site through sixteen pages so I've given up.

Perhaps Microsoft is punishing me for adhering to standards.

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Civil Marriage Act Tabled

The Canadian FlagEarlier today, Justice Minister Irwin Cotler introduced the Liberal government's same-sex marriage bill in the House of Commons. As well as extending the legal capacity to marry for civil purposes to same-sex couples, the package of legislation amends eight other federal acts to extend a variety of marital rights to gay couples, including income tax measures, business and investment benefits and the right to divorce.

A number of church groups will scream and shout that this is a violation of God's law and should be voted down. Hateful conservative groups will rise like sludge in our sewers to campaign against this bill. They'll quote verses in the Bible, call homosexuality unnatural and suggest same-sex marriage will lead our society straight into the depths of hell.

At the end of the day, this is still Canada. Because this is Canada, this bill will pass. The Conservative Party will largely vote against it, but the majority of Liberals as well as just about all those from the Bloc Québécois and New Democrat parties will do the right thing. In Canada, all citizens are equal under the law, regardless of skin colour, religion, culture or sexual preference. In Canada, the church and state are indeed seperate and our social conscience will remain clear.

I will be a proud Canadian when this bill passes. It's long overdue.

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Top Ten Search Strings

Top Ten Search StringsOn the first day of every month I 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 January 2005.

  1. amber frye pictures
  2. amber frye
  3. amber frye photos
  4. amber frye naked
  5. big shiny 90's
  6. amber frye nude
  7. amber frye nude photos
  8. pictures of amber frye
  9. homer quotes
  10. bill barilko

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Minimum Wage

MoneyMy first paid job was as a fifteen year old when I was hired to work a game booth at the CNE. Minimum wage at the time was $3.85, if my memory serves me correctly, so I thought I scored when I learned I was going to be paid $5 an hour for my efforts. I was going to be rich.

Before settling into a comfy string of five years working as a grocery clerk for Oshawa Foods, I flipped burgers at McDonald's for $6.85 an hour. I didn't stay there very long but at least I got to experience minimum wage for the first time in my life.

Today, minimum wage in Ontario is being increased to $7.45. Teenagers everywhere can celebrate with that extra coffee or two each week. But wait, there are more annual increases in store for each of the next two years until it reaches $8 per hour in February 2007. Welcome to Ontario's salad days.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 2, Milwaukee Admirals 5

The Blue and White Maple LeafMikael Tellqvist started in goal for St. John's, stopping 30 of 35 shots before giving way to Jean-Francois Racine with six minutes left in the contest. Tellqvist suffered a concussion after taking a knee to the head in a third-period collision with the Admirals' Scottie Upshall. We have Milwaukee again on Tuesday night.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
58 points
5-2 Loss vs. Milwaukee
3-2 Win vs. Cleveland
3-2 Win vs. Cleveland
David Ling - 54 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 50 pts
Matt Stajan - 36 pts

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