November 2005 Archives

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayCIA - The World Factbook - Canada - A tremendous resource for boatloads of information about the best 9,984,670 square kilometres in the world.

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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.

The Waltons - The Naked Rain
Last week I promised another sweet CanCon classic and "The Naked Rain" fits the bill. The next three Wednesdays I'll be sharing solid Christmas tunage.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumStan Berenstain was 82. He created the popular children's books about the Berenstain Bears.

James and I share a love for these characters. We've spent many a night reading books from the Berenstain Bears catalogue and the cartoon on Treehouse is a definite favourite.

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Three Years Of Gibberish

BalloonsThree years ago today, I added a Blog page to this web site. The morning of November 30, 2002, I heard "You Know You're Right" on the radio and realized that I'm hearing the same voices I was hearing ten years earlier. I banged off a quick summary of my analysis and emailed it to a group of friends and family.

At this time, blogs were starting to surface on the world wide web and the format appealed to me. What if I banged off these rants/observations, parked them on a public web site and never deleted them? In reverse-chronological order I could maintain a collection of this gibberish that could be revisited at any time. That "Grunge Forever" entry became the first of thousands. Here it is...

November 30, 2002 / 12:27 EST

Nirvana's NevermindGrunge Forever
Music peaked in 1991-1994. Specifically, the days between the release of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit and the moment a self-inflicted gunshot pierced Kurt Cobain's brain. There is little doubt of this fact.

Here we are in the year 2002..almost 2003 and this music from the early 90's "grunge" scene continues to dominate rock charts. Lets take a closer look at the current top 7 from CFNY's (I'm well aware they're now Edge102, but they'll always be CFNY to me) Thursday 30 which I have posted below.

  1. Nirvana - You Know You're Right
  2. Foo Fighters - All My Life
  3. Pearl Jam - I Am Mine
  4. Queens of the Stone Age - No One Knows
  5. U2 - Electrical Storm
  6. Audioslave - Chochise

Notice anything interesting about these bands? Am I stuck in a time-warp? Holy moly Marge...every band represented or at least a part of every band represented is straight outta 1991. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Nirvana - A band straight outta 1991.
Foo Fighters - A band with a lead singer and song writer straight outta Nirvana which is a band straight outta 1991.
Pearl Jam - A band straight outta 1991.
Queens of the Stone Age - A song with a drummer straight outta Nirvana which is a band straight outta 1991.
U2 - A band straight outta 1991.
Audioslave - A band with a lead singer straight outta Soundgarden which is a band straight outta 1991.

Get the picture? Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell and Dave Grohl have something to do with 6 of the top 7 songs in the current Thursday 30. Further proof that 1991 Seattle was the epitome of rock unquestionably, undeniably and unarguably.

That first entry was written for a small collection of friends and family and to this day I write for this small group of people. If others want to peak in on the action, it's all good. That's the beauty of this medium. Just about everything I write is off the cuff with almost no revision. I hand code every character in a basic text editor and before I upload a change I only pass the content through a single filter: Is this fit for public consumption? If yes, upload. If no, delete. It doesn't get any easier than that.

All three years are just a click away...

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Guest Blog Entry

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

The Catholic Church must realize this is the 21st century not the 19th. Philosophies & life as a whole changes. What would you do if one of your kids came out & said I'm Homosexual. Anything can happen! Unfortunately its the children that will suffer due to this resolution from Pope Benny (a joke from his inception). Get someone 50-60 years of age. Thank God I'm protestant.

      twins from bolton

Pope Benny is lapsing the hell out of this Lapsed Catholic.

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Black Eyed Peas

MusicI watched the half time show during the Grey Cup on Sunday. For those who didn't, it was the Black Eyed Peas performing a variety of their hits and causing a little controversy.

From what I can tell, there are three reasons for this controversy. I'll list the three reasons and comment on each.

They Aren't Canadian
Nothing is more Canadian than the Grey Cup. I don't understand why we had to import talent for the half-time show. Last year, The Hip performed and it seemed so appropriate. This year a poppy hip-hop band from Los Angeles was flown in to entertain the nation.

If the CFL so badly wanted to appeal to today's youth, couldn't they have hired Avril Lavigne? What about Sum41? Wouldn't Nickelback have been a perfect fit? I'm certain acceptable Canadian artists were available and that's my strong preference. The Grey Cup is ours!

Their Performance Wasn't Suitable For Families
An entry about "My Humps" is long overdue. This is the song that asks "Whatcha gonna do with all that junk? All that junk inside your trunk?" The catchy refrain revolves around the line "My hump my hump my hump my hump my lovely lady lumps".

WTF? These are the dumbest lyrics in the history of pop music, and there have been some awfully dumb lyrics. My hump? My lovely lady lumps? There's no way Fergie singing this song wearing those short shorts is rated G for General Audiences. I watched it alone, and I was blushing. Having acknowledged that this is a rather immature song about T&A, I didn't have a big issue with the content. It didn't cross the line.

They Suck
This is my biggest complaint about the performance. I can't stand this band. They suck. I remember moments after we launched back in September 2003 somebody nominated "Where Is Da Luv?" for SLS10. I immediately posted my first SLS comment: "Boring, middle of the road, sanitized hip-hop."

I feel the same way about them today. They're weak, they're dull and they're unworthy of being the Grey Cup half-time show. The fact they're American irks me, the fact they were rather lewd is something I can live with but the fact they suck trumps everything and shapes my opinion of the show.

At the end of the day, it's all about the music.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayPandora - Discover music.

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Same Old Same Old

CrossWay to lead the Catholic church into the 21st century, Benny. Some of us are desperately hungry for a sign of enlightenment from your institution. Instead, it's the same old same old.

Today, in his first major ruling as Pope, Benny imposed restrictions on homosexuals entering the Catholic priesthood, saying men must first overcome any "transitory" gay tendencies. Anyone can be a priest, so long as they're celibate, single, male and heterosexual. Homosexuals are not welcome in the Catholic priesthood. This is as outrageous as barring someone because of the colour of their skin or, dare I say it, their gender.

Rocked by sexual abuse scandal, it seems to me Benny is happily roasting gay men as their sacrificial lambs. After all, all gay men are pedophiles, right? Of course, everyone knows that!

I give up.

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Maple Leafs 2, Panthers 1

Go Leafs Go!Ed Belfour has tied Terry Sawchuk for second place on the NHL's career victory list with 447. He played a great game, stopping 34 of 35 shots and helping us survive a second period onslaught.

As previously mentioned, Bryan McCabe scored the winner while we had a two man advantage, his tenth goal of the season. Watch out Montreal, we're only a point behind.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
31 points
3rd in Northeast
2-1 Win vs. Florida
4-3 Win vs. Montreal
4-3 Shootout Loss vs. Carolina
B. McCabe - 33
J. Allison - 24
J. O'Neill - 22

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Bryan McCabe

LeafsIt wasn't that long ago that Steve and I were making fun of Ryan for owning a #24 Bryan McCabe jersey. He was having an off year and was always embarrassing himself with that ridiculous butt-check.

That very same Bryan McCabe just rifled a one timer past Roberto Luongo to give us the third period lead. Damn he's been awesome this year. That's his tenth goal to lead all defensemen in the NHL.

Wear that jersey with pride Ry. McCabe is going to Torino.

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Clare Laking

PoppyClare Laking died Saturday at the age of 106. Laking was a private with the Canadian Field Artillery, 27th Battery, 4th Brigade. It is believed that he was the last Canadian veteran of The Great War to have seen action, having fought on the front line.

Mr. Laking... thanks.

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Whittling Down the Tracklist for SLS14

SLSWe're about a month away from the unveiling of SLS14. SLS, as you know, releases an edition twice a year and contains what we deem to be the best new rock from the six month period.

I spent some time on the weekend listening to your nominations and paring down the potential tracklisting. There are 19 songs in strong contention, totaling a little over 78 minutes. With a month to go it's same to assume one or two new songs will rise to the occasion, but here are the 19 I've whittled the list down to thus far.

  • Wake Up - Arcade Fire
  • Hypnotize - System of a Down
  • Romantic Rights - Death From Above 1979
  • Soul Meets Body - Death Cab For Cutie
  • Juice Box - The Strokes
  • Monster Hospital - Metric
  • Stricken - Disturbed
  • Fuck Off - Custom
  • Only - Nine Inch Nails
  • The Denial Twist - The White Stripes
  • DOA - Foo Fighters
  • Doesn't Remind Me - Audioslave
  • Ageless Beauty - Stars
  • Girl - Beck
  • Jesus of Suburbia - Green Day
  • Do You Wanna - Franz Ferdinand
  • Oh Be Joyful - Matthew Good
  • Dare - Gorillaz
  • Middle of Nowhere - Hot Hot Heat

Nominations are still be accepted. We'll release the final list just before Christmas.

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CIA On My Ass

EmailOh no, I seem to have upset the Central Intelligence Agency. Now they're demanding answers. Check out this email I recently received.

To: listening@*****.com
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2005 09:38:40 -0500
Subject: Virus Found in message "You visit illegal websites"
Dear Sir/Madam,

we have logged your IP-address on more than 30 illegal Websites.

Please answer our questions!
The list of questions are attached.

Yours faithfully,
Steven Allison

++++ Central Intelligence Agency -CIA-
++++ Office of Public Affairs
++++ Washington, D.C. 20505

++++ phone: (703) 482-0623
++++ 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., US Eastern time

As God is my witness, I didn't know Google News Canada was an illegal website. I suppose I have no choice now but to answer Mr. Allison's questions.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayPanoramic photo taken from the first level of the CN Tower - I'm pretty sure I've linked to this before but it's worth a revisit. It's a tremendous view of the city from the CN Tower in 360° glory.

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TPOH Resurgence?

MusicYesterday I heard The Pursuit of Happiness' "Hard To Laugh" on CFNY Edge 102. It was the first time I've heard a song on the radio from TPOH that wasn't "I'm An Adult Now" in many years. Earlier in the week, I read this which discusses "When We Ruled: The Best Of The Pursuit Of Happiness", a newly released greatest hits package featuring a couple of new tracks. Are we on the cusp of a TPOH resurgence?

I certainly hope so. This is what I wrote about The Pursuit of Happiness' "I'm An Adult Now" in an earlier entry.

I don't think there's a more Toronto song than this one. This independent single was spun all the time on CFNY in the late 80s and I thought it was the coolest. Great lyrics, great raw sound and a great story. TPOH got a record deal and put out the awesome Love Junk, a cassette I played over and over again. In addition to a more polished version of "I'm An Adult Now", this album had stellar tracks like "She's So Young" and "Hard to Laugh". Why does this song more than any other remind me of my city? For a couple of years in my early 20s I worked at Dufferin and Dupont and lived near Yonge and Bloor. My route to work was a bike ride along Davenport to Dupont, and more often than not I'd see Moe Berg walking that street. There he was, taking a stroll in his city, and every time I saw him I heard "I'm An Adult Now" in my head.

"I'd sure look like a fool dead in a ditch somewhere with a mind full of chemicals like some cheese-eating high school boy." Like a fine wine, this stuff ages remarkably well.

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Ryan's Skill

LightningRyan, it seems, has an uncanny ability to predict celebrity deaths. Since we drafted our little Dead Pool back in September of 2000, six of Ryan's 15 celebrities have passed on. That's not particularly impressive, both Steve and I could make the same claim, but Ryan has the two youngest celebrities to die in our pool on his list.

Ryan had Pat Morita on his list, and he died the other day at the age of 73. In our pool, you receive a score of 100 minus the celebrity's age at the time of their death. That gave Ryan 27 points when Miyagi died. 27 is the second highest point total received since we started this morbid contest, but it's a very distant second. Ryan also had Old Dirty Bastard who left us at the young age of 35. That's an incredible 65 points.

Needless to say, Ryan has a healthy lead over his two brothers. He currently has 152 whereas Steve has 78 and I'm last with 54. My Dead Pool doesn't only act as a home page for this contest, it also acts as a memorial to the famous and semi-famous who have bought the farm.

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Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 3

Go Leafs Go!O Captain! My Captain!

Despite expected bitching from several Canadiens after the game, Craig Rivet did trip Nik Antropov at the end of regulation last night which put us on the powerplay for the first two minutes of overtime enabling Mats Sundin to pot the winner. We were screwed the other night against Carolina, so it's about time a bit of overtime luck went our way.

Jose Theodore fell to 4-11-3-1 in his career against Canada's team.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
29 points
3rd in Northeast
4-3 Win vs. Montreal
4-3 Shootout Loss vs. Carolina
5-1 Loss vs. Boston
B. McCabe - 32
J. Allison - 23
J. O'Neill - 21

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members."
      - Groucho Marx

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New Naming Convention

ConstructionBack in July, I wondered aloud as to whether or not I should alter the naming convention I utilize to organize my collection of MP3s. Should "The Flaming Lips" be "Flaming Lips, The"? Is "Neil Young" better sorted as "Young, Neil"?

I decided the answer to both question is yes and I've made the changes on this page. While I was mucking around in there, I took soundtracks out of "Various Artists" and placed them under "OST". I also took the Christmas discs out of "Various Artists" and now sort them by "Christmas Music". Should a Christmas album be from a single artist, like the Barenaked Ladies' "Barenaked For The Holidays", that remains under "Barenaked Ladies".

If you find any mistakes or have any further suggestions, please let me know.

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. All were taken the past couple of days.

I also changed the thumbnails displayed on the New Pictures page and the Older Pictures page so they're squares. I think this gives a nicer symmetrical effect.

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A Movie ReelEulogy: 4 out of 10.

Promise unfulfilled. That's the best synopsis I can provide for this flick. A cast of Hank Azaria, Zooey Deschanel, Rip Torn, Piper Laurie, Glenne Headly and Famke Janssen are completely wasted. Even Ray Romano and Kelly Preston have significant roles in this mediocre movie.

It's entirely disinteresting and rather boring. It's certainly not funny. Parts of it reminded me of much better movies, providing moments I actually enjoyed. Unfortunately, those moments were playing in my head and not on the screen. If you want to blow away a 90 minute chunk of your life, watch "Eulogy".

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B.J. is a B.J.

Blue JaysDepending upon who you believe, B.J. Ryan and the Toronto Blue Jays may have reached a preliminary agreement on a $47 million, five-year contract. If this is true, and I'll bet it is, it's the largest deal for a reliever in the history of baseball.

Rogers takes some of my money every month, I have no problem with them blowing it on upgrades to my ball team. He had 36 saves in 41 chances last season for the Baltimore Orioles and went 1-4 with a 2.43 ERA, striking out 100 in 70 1-3 innings.

You have to have a dependable closer if you're going to go anywhere in this league. There are no World Series banners hanging in SkyDome today if there was no Tom Henke and Duane Ward. Speaking of Henke, do you remember this Ryan?

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Maple Leafs 3, Hurricanes 4

Go Leafs Go!I can live with losing our third shootout in four opportunities, but it never should have got that far. We won this game 43 seconds into overtime on a Mats Sundin goal but it was disallowed. If it wasn't for bad luck, we wouldn't have any luck at all.

Tonight it's another Saturday night with the Canadiens. Lets end this losing streak at two.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
27 points
Tied for 3rd in Northeast
4-3 Shootout Loss vs. Carolina
5-1 Loss vs. Boston
5-1 Win vs. Atlanta
B. McCabe - 31
J. Allison - 22
J. O'Neill - 19

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"Marge, quick, how many kids do we have? No time, I'll just estimate. Nine!"

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My MP3s Updated

CDI've added 47 new CDs to my MP3 collection. Here they are...

  • Lowest of the Low - Shakespeare My Butt
  • Lowest of the Low - Hallucigenia
  • The Dears - No Cities Left
  • The Shins - Oh, Inverted World
  • The Flaming Lips - Fight Test
  • Matthew Good - In a Coma
  • The Waltons - Lik My Trakter
  • Rheostatics - Introducing Happiness
  • Treble Charger - Wide Awake Bored
  • Blue Rodeo - Just Like A Vacation (Discs 1 & 2)
  • Hawksley Workman - Lover/Fighter
  • Ashley MacIsaac - HiTM How Are You Today?
  • Ashley MacIsaac - Close To The Floor
  • Great Big Sea - Turn
  • Great Big Sea - Up
  • Great Big Sea - Play
  • Great Big Sea - Great Big Sea
  • Odds - Bedbugs
  • Fine Young Cannibals - The Finest
  • Various Artists - Triple J Hottest 100 Volume 9 (Discs 1 & 2)
  • Various Artists - Triple J Hottest 100 Volume 8 (Discs 1 & 2)
  • Spirit Of The West - Open Heart Symphony
  • Spirit Of The West - Save This House
  • Spirit Of The West - Faithlift
  • Skydiggers - Restless
  • Sarah McLachlan - Solace
  • R.E.M. - Document
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers - By The Way
  • The Rolling Stones - Jump Back: The Best Of The Rolling
  • Various Artists - Singalongs & Shanties
  • The Beautiful South - Carry On Up The Charts The Best Of The Beautiful South
  • Michael Jackson - The Essential Michael Jackson (Discs 1 & 2)
  • Aerosmith - Big Ones
  • Chantal Kreviazuk - Colour Moving and Still (Discs 1 & 2)
  • The Irish Descendants - Gypsies & Lovers
  • The Irish Descendants - Livin' on the Edge
  • Garbage - Version 2.0
  • Counting Crows - August and Everything After
  • Curtis Mayfield - Superfly
  • Shania Twain - The Woman In Me
  • Boney M - Gold - 20 Super Hits
  • Ernest Ranglin - Below The Bassline

That's 1093 complete albums, 15,932 songs and 43 days of tunage. Check it out.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveBest Elisabeth Shue movies

  1. The Karate Kid
  2. Leaving Las Vegas
  3. Adventures in Babysitting
  4. Deconstructing Harry
  5. The Saint

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More On Mr. Kesuke Miyagi

MoviesPrior to seeing "The Karate Kid" for the first time in the mid-80s, I already liked Pat Morita. I knew him as Arnold on "Happy Days", a show I watched regularly as a kid. When I first saw "The Karate Kid", I stopped seeing Arnold when I saw Pat Morita. Pat became Mr. Miyagi.

I was ten or eleven years old when I first saw "The Karate Kid" and I instantly loved it. I'd watch it over and over and over again. You could relate to Daniel-san. I'll bet every boy born in 1974 was able to relate to Daniel-san and I'll bet we all adopted "The Karate Kid" as our movie and Miyagi as our mentor. When I listed my five favourite songs that pump you up and motivate you to win it all back in April, Joe Esposito's "You're The Best" was number one with a bullet. How many of you tried that martial arts crane stance?

Pat Morita has passed on, but we're left with his words of wisdom from this inspiring flick. Here are a few of my favourites.

  • Wax on... wax off. Wax on... wax off.
  • We make sacred pact. I promise teach karate to you, you promise learn. I say, you do, no questions.
  • First learn stand, then learn fly. Nature rule, Daniel San, not mine.
  • Daniel-san, must talk. Man walk on road. Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk down middle, sooner or later, get squished.
  • Hai - can see. No such thing a bad student, only bad teacher. Teacher say, student do.

You're the best! Around! Nothing's gonna ever keep you down...

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumPat Morita was 73. He was the actor whose portrayal of the wise and dry-witted Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid earned him an Oscar nomination.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumGeorge Best was 59. He was the dazzling soccer icon of the 1960s and 70s who revelled in a hard-drinking playboy lifestyle.

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A More Menable Jurisdiction

JusticeFour short years ago, Conrad Black renounced his Canadian citizenship. He referred to his Canadian citizenship as an "impediment to my progress in another, more amenable jurisdiction". That more amenable jurisdiction, in his opinion, was Britain's House of Lords.

Black made a number of statements four years ago that are worth revisiting. He called Canada a "one-party federal state with no deliverance in sight," and added, "Most Canadians remain resolutely oblivious to their country's objective decline. To someone just arrived from Haiti or Romania, Canada is a far more satisfying place to be a citizen than it was to me."

Black has had a sudden change of heart. He's asked the federal government for his citizenship back. This is quite shocking considering how beneath him we are. This "soft-left" country didn't deserve him four years ago and we don't deserve him now. Whatever must have happened to change his mind so dramatically?

Oh yes, there's that 40 years in a United States penitentiary he faces if he's convicted on all eight counts of fraud he's been charged with. Somebody needs to pay for that $83.8 million fraud at his former publishing company, Hollinger International Inc. You can't request a transfer to a Canadian jail when you're not a Canadian citizen.

Why else would Lord Black wish to rejoin "a more menable jurisdiction"?

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I Dare You To Vote For Him

OttawaEarlier today, Stephen Harper introduced a no-confidence motion in the House of Commons. They'll vote on the motion Monday and we'll probably be voting in mid-January.

I dare you to vote for him!

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It's An Honour Just Being Nominated

MouseThe 2005 Canadian Blog Awards have unveiled this year's nominees in a wide variety of categories. If you peruse the nominations, you'll see this blog is up for "Best Culture Blog".

If you want to vote for this site, go here and click the bar for for Best Culture Blog. Then click the box next to "Mike Boon" and submit your vote. You may vote once per day.

You have your orders. Execute with extreme prejudice.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Is that the new math? The last 100 people visiting your site add up to 85?

      Mike H.

The other 15 are country-less. They're either using something like this or they're aliens from another planet.

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Maple Leafs 1, Bruins 5

Go Leafs Go!What an uninspired, lackadaisical performance the Leafs mailed in last night. The blue and white deserved every boo they got. Booooo!!!

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
26 points
3rd in Northeast
5-1 Loss vs. Boston
5-1 Win vs. Atlanta
4-1 Win vs. Boston
B. McCabe - 30
J. Allison - 21
J. O'Neill - 18

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Are Popeye Cigarettes Canadian?

Question MarkA week ago, I wrote about Popeye Cigarettes. I enjoyed these candies as a kid and recently enjoyed them in their re-branded state as Popeye Candy Sticks.

Thinking about my good ol' Popeye cigarettes made me nostalgic for the treat and got me Googling scans of the box they came in. During this process I stumbled upon a few sites that seemed to suggest Popeye Cigarettes were never available in the United States. Could it be Popeye Cigarettes were created for Canadian kids only?

26% of today's visitors to this site reside in the United States. Would one of you please write a Guest Blog and let me know if you pretend-smoked a Popeye Cigarette or two in your youth?

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Country Of Origin

TVIf I look at the last 100 people who visited this site, and break them down by country, here's what it looks like.

  1. Canada - 46 (54.12%)
  2. United States - 31 (36.47%)
  3. France - 3 (3.53%)
  4. United Kingdom - 3 (3.53%)
  5. Germany - 1 (1.18%)
  6. Spain - 1 (1.18%)

I don't actually have a point, I just felt like sharing.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumChris Whitley was 45. He was a chameleon singer-songwriter who oscillated between roots rock 'n' roll, blues and alt-rock.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Well its that time of year again, my annual bitch about the Christmas Season starting too early. Why do we have Christmas Songs on the radio November 19, why do we have Christmas decorations in the malls, stores, etc. in November.

We are wrecking the Christmas Spirit... come December we are so full of Christmas shit that it is no fun anymore.

bah humbug

      the grinch

Dude, I'm with ya. It seems that the commercial Christmas season kicks into high gear as soon as Halloween is over and done with. That means two full months of Christmas ads and Christmas music. You're sick of it by December 1.

Just this past weekend I attended a Christmas party and a Santa Claus Parade. I understand certain radio stations are already 24/7 holiday music. For more, read "Holiday Music", something I jotted down on November 28, 2003.

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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.

Skydiggers - I Will Give You Everything
A pretty Cancon classic is this week's MP3. Next Wednesday I'll share another pretty Cancon classic and I'll share three Christmas classics the first three Wednesdays of December. "Fairytale of New York" is a shoe-in.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

42 years ago today our lives changed with the President of the U.S. being killed in front of our eyes. Being in grade 3 at the time I knew who he was but the conception of the events didn't comprehend at the time. T.V. changed the whole perception of world events. That day in 1963 was the 9/11 of the sixties.


For those who are interested, there's a tonne of information related to the Kennedy assassination available from this site. Then, there's always this trustworthy Wiki page about the event of Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, USA. All documents related to the assassination that have not been destroyed are scheduled, according to the 1992 Assassinations Records Review Board laws, to be released to the public by 2017.

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The Secret Mulroney Tapes

TVAs pathetic as it might sound, Taryn and I spent last night watching "The Secret Mulroney Tapes" on CBC.

The program was nothing more than unedited conversations between former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and journalist Peter C. Newman, but it was surprisingly entertaining, especially the hate-on Mulroney has for Pierre Trudeau and obvious love and adoration he has for himself. There were many big laughs too. Mulroney would periodically seek reassurance that his comments were being held in the strictest of confidence and he would prefix statements with "just between you and I" and "off the record".

Fox Mulder said it best. Trust no one.

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Crosby vs. Ovechkin

HockeySidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin face off tonight in their first head-to-head NHL game. They're one-two in rookie scoring and are clearly forces to be reckoned with for years and years to come.

The last time these two phenoms faced each other, I game blogged the event. It was Team Canada's 6-1 win over Russia in the gold medal game at the World Junior Hockey Championship. As you'll see from the real-time synopsis, it wasn't even close.

I'm hoping for a similar result tonight. Go Crosby go!

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Popeye Cigarettes

Question MarkI just raided the remnants of James' Halloween treats and there's not much left. We're down to the nitty gritty here. I did find a package of Popeye cigarettes which I've already devoured.

Of course, they aren't called Popeye cigarettes anymore. They're called Popeye candy sticks and they're exactly like they were when I was a kid except they no longer have that red tip that let you know which end is lit. I remember pretend smoking these cigarettes before chomping them down. I'm sure every person born before 1982 or so remembers this ritual of youth.

The intent of this entry is not to chastise society for a politically correct overreaction but to question how it is these things were sold until so recently. Was there ever a time when candy cigarettes seemed like an appropriate staple of a candy store diet? I'm almost certain I was enjoying these things in the 80s and I'm shocked they held on that long.

Sometimes a politically correct overreaction is just what the doctor ordered.

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The Monday Shuffle

iTunesEvery 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 with a personal story about one of them.

  1. Immortality - Pearl Jam
  2. Zero - Smashing Pumpkins
  3. Painkillers - Everlast
  4. Breed - Nirvana
  5. Little Terror - Matthew Good
  6. Livin' On The Edge - Aerosmith
  7. Cold Cold Heart - Norah Jones
  8. Money (Dollar Bill) - Everlast
  9. Apartment Song - The Tragically Hip
  10. Dating Game - Handsome Boy Modeling School

I've always liked Matthew Good's music. During the Underdogs days, I took a lot of heat from my brothers for digging their sound. I think my brothers lumped them in with a series of run-of-the-mill Canadian bands that were getting undeserved exposure thanks to CRTC regulations. When I saw Pearl Jam at Molson Park in 1998, the Matthew Good Band played the small stage and it was a mosh paradise. Taryn will vouch for the fact I was right in the middle of this frenzy. I had the cuts and scrapes to prove it.

I recently had the chance to chat with Matt Good and I even interviewed him for this site. You can check out the interview here.

Oh be joyful!

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Take That, Sony

CDI'm still angry about that XCP digital rights management technology bundled by Sony BMG on 52 of its audio CD albums. According to Gartner (not Mike Gartner, but the analyst firm), it can be defeated by applying a piece of Scotch tape to the outer edge of the disk.

This reminds me of the way one gets around Sony BMG's other anticopying technology from SunnComm Technologie. You simply hold down the shift key. Pure brilliance.

DRM doesn't work. It just pisses off the consumer and drives people to piracy.

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. All are from this afternoon's Santa Claus Parade.

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Poor Blinky

SantaJames and I attended the 101st annual Santa Claus Parade this afternoon. We had a blast and you can see some of the action by visiting my 2005 Santa Claus Parade photoset.

Whereas last year we set up shop near Queens Park station, this time we opted to move closer to the start of the parade, parking ourselves just a little east of Christie on the south side of Bloor Street. It was a fantastic show, but one of the first sites is that of a dilapidated Blinky. I'm old enough to remember a healthy, strong Blinky. He'd drive along the parade route talking to us and opening and closing his eyes as he went. He was a definite highlight, a talking and blinking car that was actually mobile.

Here's the Blinky I saw earlier today. He can no longer be driven, so now he's towed on a trailer by a pick up truck. Sadly, Blinky can no longer blink either. In fact, one of his eyes won't open at all. He's in bad shape and it's tough to see him paraded around like that.

Poor Blinky.

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Maple Leafs 5, Thrashers 1

Go Leafs Go!I love playing the Atlanta Thrashers this season. Last time, we pummelled them 9-1, giving us a 14-2 cumulative edge thus far in 2005-2006. Our beloved Leafs have won four in a row.

Alexei Ponikarovsky was the unlikely offensive star of the night scoring two goals and adding an assist. The season of Bryan McCabe also continued as he added a goal and two assists. McCabe leads NHL defenseman with nine goals and 30 points. Send this boy to Italy!

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
26 points
3rd in Northeast
5-1 Win vs. Atlanta
4-1 Win vs. Boston
2-1 Win vs. New York Rangers
B. McCabe - 30
J. Allison - 21
J. O'Neill - 18

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"People can have the Model T in any colour, so long as it's black."
      - Henry Ford

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayTim (gottalikehockey)'s autographed card of Nikolai Zherdev on eBay - First he wrote a guest blog about it and now you can follow the action too. "This mint autographed card of Nikolai Zherdev is numbered 12 of 13. It is an extremely "tough pull". Upper Deck only inserted 1 Notable Numbers Autograph card in every 288 packs of its 2005/2006 Hockey Series 1 release. Since each player signs the same number of autographs as their sweater number (i.e. 13) Zherdev's is especially rare."

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. All are from a Christmas party we attended this morning. It seems I'm attending quite a few Christmas festivities for only the third weekend of November.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

I opened a pack of hockey cards today and was lucky enough to get an autograph of Nikolai Zherdev (a young talented forward on the Columbus Blue jackets). Only 13 were made so it is quite rare. I've since listed it on e-Bay and the whole family is enjoying watching its progress.

The internet age is simply remarkable in what is allows us to do (e.g. sell a hockey card to the world). If it sells I think I'll put the money towards Christmas presents.

      Tim (aka gottalikehockey)

They have the Internet on computers now?

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A Movie ReelSaw: 8 out of 10.

Perhaps it was because I watched this late at night in the dark or perhaps it's because deep down inside I'm just another sick bastard, but I really enjoyed this movie. It was dark, creepy, disturbing and a whole lotta fun.

It's not "Se7en", but it's good.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"Hey, I asked for ketchup! I'm eatin' salad here!"

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SLS Coasters

MoneySLS, of course, stands for Smells Like Sour and is the name of a new rock mix CD a friend and I compile twice a year. There's an official site and everything. It's a pretty big deal, attracting thousands of visitors daily.

We already sell official Smells Like Sour t-shirts, but now I'm thinking we should branch out into coasters. Perhaps something like this would catch on with the kiddies.

We're on the ball!

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveBest All-Time Toronto Raptors

  1. Vince Carter
  2. Damon Stoudamire
  3. Tracy McGrady
  4. Antonio Davis
  5. Doug Christie

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Good Parade, Horrible Web Site

SantaPssst! Wanna see a horrible web site? Check out The Santa Claus Parade site.

What's with the cheesy 1997 graphics? Who thought this page made for good navigation? Is this the worst FAQ page in the history of site design? The answers don't even match the questions!

It's a great parade with a lousy web site. Even the elf is one scary S.O.B.

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Google Sitemaps

GoogleGoogle just launched Sitemaps which gives webmasters a cool glimpse into how they index our sites. If you're a webmaster who wants to give this a spin, go here and follow the simple instructions.

I did just that and now know the top queries to Google that return pages from this site. Here are the top five:

  1. pearl jam
  2. homer simpson
  3. bill barilko
  4. homer simpson picture
  5. pearl jam

That's not a typo, a query for pearl jam appears twice. I literally copied and pasted the detail from the Google Sitemaps page. I believe Google intentionally keeps things in beta so when there's a bug they can remind you it's in beta. It's still a cool tool though.

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Maple Leafs 4, Bruins 1

Go Leafs Go!For those of you keeping track at home, and I know that's most of you, we've won three in a row. Mikael Tellqvist played a solid game between the pipes and our power play surged in the third to lead the charge.

The Associated Press recap of this game contains the following erroneous statement. "Toronto has won three straight for the first time this season and scored two power-play goals." Of course, our Leafs won four straight earlier in the year. Speaking of erroneous statements, I'm 99% sure I heard Joe Bowen refer to Tellqvist as a rookie goaltender. Say it ain't so, Joe. Say it ain't so.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
24 points
3rd in Northeast
4-1 Win vs. Boston
2-1 Win vs. New York Rangers
5-4 Win vs. Montreal
B. McCabe - 27
J. O'Neill - 19
J. Allison - 18

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State Of The Union

OttawaIt appears the government will fall in the new future, perhaps on November 28th, perhaps earlier. We'll probably be voting in January.

I think I feel similarly to the average Canadian. I'd like to punish the Liberal party, sending a message that their reign of arrogant power fertilizes corruption and we need a change in Ottawa. The big red machine has been in power too long and I'm not particularly happy with the overall health of this great country. We could be better. We should be better. We deserve better.

If I'm not to vote for my local Liberal MP, who does get my support? I loathe the Conservatives. The thought of Stephen Harper as my Prime Minister makes me cringe. A vote in that direction and I've sold my soul. Another alternative is Jack Layton's New Democratic Party. I see the allure, but a vote for Layton puts Harper at 24 Sussex Drive. This is where I'm at, and I'm certain I'm not alone.

I'm left to weigh my passionate dislike for Harper's Conservatives against my interest in sending Paul Martin a message that things need to change. For me, and I suspect many others, this is no contest. At the end of the day there is no alternative, despite how desperate for one we are. And they call it democracy.

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November Snow

SnowflakeLooking out my window, I see snow is falling in the city of trees. You don't get a lot of snow in November in Toronto, and the snow that's falling right now isn't going to stick, but once in a while you get a freaky little snow storm.

Last November 8th, I took this photo in Gilford, Ontario, which is just a little North of Newmarket, but South of Barrie. I remember how surreal it was to see such snow so early in November.

Today's flurries suck by comparison.

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The Upside-Down Clowns

HyperlinkDuring last year's Santa Claus Parade in downtown Toronto, I took this picture of the famous upside-down clowns. Those damn clowns were around when I was a kid and, although they're kinda creepy, it's always good to see them.

Popular local blog BlogTO posted this entry today which includes that very photo of mine. It's nice to see my prowess with an Olympus getting some additional exposure.

I'll be at this year's Santa Claus Parade as well, taking photographs of the numerous floats. If you're interested, here's the complete Flickr photoset from 2004. I hope to post a photoset from 2005 on Sunday afternoon.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumRalph Edwards was 92. He was a broadcasting pioneer who spotlighted stars and ordinary people as host of the popular 1950s show "This Is Your Life."

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Daniel Marois

RewindDuring the 1988-1989 NHL season, Daniel Marois scored 31 goals for the Toronto Maple Leafs. There was no sophomore curse for Marois as he scored another 39 goals the next season. Simply based on that solid rookie campaign, my friend Joe and I anointed him our savoir.

Perhaps it was the timing. Wendel Clark was in the middle of one of his injury riddled seasons and the Leafs were finishing last in the Norris. We desperately needed hope. I distinctly remember a thousand and one smart-ass remarks that winter because I refused to stop wearing my Leafs cap to school. Those 31 goals Marois scored were a sure sign of things to come. We had a Steve Yzerman on our hands. We had a Bernie Nicholls.

Our Marois admiration got so bad Joe went out and had a Leafs jersey made up with his #32 on it. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Marois never became the player we hoped he'd be and he finished his NHL career with only 117 goals. 70 of those were scored in those first two seasons with the Leafs. Here he is on the cover of a Leafs program I saved.

We sure can pick 'em!

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayThe Beer Hunter - This doesn't benefit me personally, but I'm sure most Toronto readers will thank me for posting it. "It's currently 1:18pm on Wednesday in Toronto. There are 162 places you can get booze right now."

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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.

Guns N' Roses - November Rain
The forecast for Toronto the past couple of days? Cold November rain.

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Maple Leafs 2, Rangers 1

Go Leafs Go!The Toronto Maple Leafs powerplay strategy this season is clear. Pass around the puck, get the puck to Bryan McCabe at the blue line and let him wind up and rifle a shot at the net. Ideally, McCabe scores like he did twice last night. If he doesn't score, there might be a rebound to pound home. So far, this strategy seems to be working.

I'm puzzled by our current team. On paper, they shouldn't be very good. I wasn't expecting to win as many games as we lost this season. The defense is paper thin and the offense is either young, fringe or lacking in skill. Between the pipes, our #1 is an old man and our #2 is unproven. This season appeared to be a write-off of sorts, merely a necessary stage on our route to the 2006-2007 season and higher aspirations. Knowing all this, I've been watching a pretty good team this year. There have been a few off-nights, but for the most part the effort has been there and we've only lost seven times in nineteen games.

Maybe we're good? Maybe if Belfour plays well and McCabe and Tomas Kaberle stay healthy we can surprise a team or two in the second season. Maybe we will have that parade...

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
22 points
3rd in Northeast
2-1 Win vs. New York Rangers
5-4 Win vs. Montreal
5-2 Loss vs. Buffalo
B. McCabe - 25
J. O'Neill - 18
J. Allison - 17

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A Museum After Dark

The HipA few weeks ago, Stephen Dame wrote me to ask if it was okay to link to this picture from his Tragically Hip site. It was that day that I first visited A Museum After Dark.

It's a tremendous resource for Hip fans. I love the thoroughness of the extraordinary content as Stephen documents the people, places and poetry found in the music of The Tragically Hip. I recommend starting here and quickly getting lost. The only thing that bugs me about this awesome site is that I didn't do it first. It's an absolutely must-visit for any fan of The Hip.

I studied history at the University of Toronto and there was no Canadian course as interesting and encompassing as A Museum After Dark.

Update: Unfortunately, A Museum After Dark is hosted on shitty free Geocities space and frequently goes down due to exceeded bandwidth. If you get the dreaded "Sorry, this site is temporarily unavailable!" error, try again in an hour. And yes, I've offered to host the entire site so people can actually read it.

Update #2: A Museum After Dark is now at

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The Bridge

MusicListening to The National Playlist on CBC radio this morning, I heard a song entitled "The Bridge" from a Toronto-based band from Windsor called Elliot Brood.

Prior to today, I had never heard of Elliot Brood. One listen to "The Bridge" and I was impressed. It's a very cool single and I can't wait to hear it again. It's sort of a country-esque rock tune with a catchy harmony. It's good stuff.

A little digging reveals that Elliot Brood recorded this album in an abandoned abattoir at Keele and St. Clair. Bonus points!

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Winning More Than Our Fair Share

NFLThere are thirty people in my NFL pool. Of these thirty people, three are members of my immediate family. That means four of thirty are Boon's, which is 13%.

With my mom's win this week, Boon's have won three times in ten weeks. That's a success rate of 30%.

Now we just need Ryan to win a week and complete the sweep.

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The Monday Shuffle

iTunesEvery 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 with a personal story about one of them.

  1. Tic - Helmet
  2. Shadow Stabbing - Cake
  3. Geek U.S.A. - Smashing Pumpkins
  4. Go It Alone - Beck
  5. Protect Ya Neck - Wu-Tang Clan
  6. The Goat Song - Adam Sandler
  7. Gravity Rides Everything - Modest Mouse
  8. Money (Dollar Bill) - Everlast
  9. Reckless Abandon - Blink-182
  10. Ezekiel Saw The Wheel - Woody Guthrie

I saw Cake once at Molson Park in Barrie. They hit the stage and began slagging Canada, making jokes about how America might come up and annex our asses. The lead singer's tongue was no doubt firmly in his cheek, but that fact was lost on this particular crowd. This was a fiercely pro-Canada atmosphere as we anxiously awaited the headliners, Nickelback.

The crowd revolted in the only way a crowd like this can revolt. We began throwing plastic bottles at the band. After a couple of warnings and the hurling of more bottles, Cake said goodnight and left the stage. They were three songs into their set.

Sheep go to heaven, Cake can go to hell.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumEduardo Gory Guerrero was 38. He was a World Wrestling Entertainment superstar.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayDavid Cross' Rant - With the cancellation of television's funniest show, this QuickTime video of a David Cross outtake says it all nicely.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the Daypillow fight @ dundas square - Here are some pix from yesterday's pillow fight at Dundas Square in Toronto.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Today is my mother's ninetieth birthday. I am so grateful to have had her in my life all these years. She is not doing as well as one might wish upon her but when I visit her I still feel that great amount of love that she has always had for me. Sometimes in this cold, harsh city I just crave a dose of my mother's amazing love for me. If only we could bottle such a love. Thank you mom for always giving me this great affection and your protectiveness throughout the years when I needed it which was often. I am not ready to let you go yet. But them again I never will be. God love you.

Happy Birthday!

Your Daughter,
Mary Catherine

Go mbeire muid beo ar an am seo aris!

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BirthdayMy beloved Grandma turns 90 years young today. In my life there have been very few who I could trust to love me unconditionally. Grandma is one of those rare few and that's worth its weight in gold.

I'm not alone in wishing Grandma congratulations on her ninetieth. There are others...

Happy Birthday Grandma! We love you.

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Like The Archies and Banana Splitz

HomerThere was a great exchange between Marge and Bart last night on "The Simpsons". While riding a bicycle built for two, they begin singing Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" together. We witness them singing the following verse about our very own Neil Young.

Well, I heard Mister Young sing about her
Well, I heard ole Neil put her down.
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
a southern man don't need him around anyhow.

At this point, Bart asks his mother, "Who's Neil Young?". Marge's answer is classic. "He's a singer from the 60s, like The Archies and Banana Splitz".

Beauty, eh?

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A Love Song for Bobby Long

A Movie ReelA Love Song for Bobby Long: 6.5 out of 10.

Often I'll skip a movie simply because it stars John Travolta. Sure, Travolta was in my favourite movie of all time, but I consider that the genius of Quentin Tarantino and not a credit to Travolta. I was going to skip "A Love Song for Bobby Long" but decided to give it a whirl because it also stars Scarlett Johansson. I'm glad I gave it a shot.

It nicely captures the grungy soul of New Orleans which is even more interesting in light of everything that has happened. It's a tale of redemption and penance and a search for belonging. It's not a bad little flick..

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Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 4

Go Leafs Go!With 2:28 remaining in the third, we got our miracle. The puck somehow fell into the net from behind on a crazy shot by Jason Allison and the game was tied. In OT, a wicked shot by Jeff O'Neill beat Jose Theodore and the good guys secured an important two points.

Before the game, Montreal retired #12 for Dickie Moore and Yvan Cournoyer. The last player to wear the number for the Montreal Canadiens was our very own Darcy Tucker. To you from failing hands we pass the torch...

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
20 points
3rd in Northeast
5-4 Win vs. Montreal
5-2 Loss vs. Buffalo
6-4 Win vs. Washington
B. McCabe - 23
J. O'Neill - 17
J. Allison - 16

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"You can't jump a jet plane, like you can a freight train."
      - Gordon Lightfoot, Early Morning Rain

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My MP3s Updated

CDI've added 13 new CDs to my MP3 collection. Here they are...

  • Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington - The Great Summit - The Master Takes
  • Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington - The Making Of The Great Summit
  • Louis Armstrong - Louis Armstrong's All Time Greatest Hits
  • Louis Armstrong - Louis and The Good Book
  • Billy Idol - Greatest Hits
  • Jethro Tull - 20 Years Of Jethro Tull
  • Gladys Knight And The Pips - Greatest Hits
  • Steely Dan - A Decade Of Steely Dan
  • Al Green - Greatest Hits
  • Various Artists - The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Blondie - Atomic: The Very Best Of Blondie
  • Supertramp - Crime of the Century
  • Duke Ellington and Count Basie - First Time! The Count Meets The Duke

That's 1047 complete albums, 15,333 songs and 41.5 days of tunage. Check it out.

If you want to peak behind the curtain and see how I do it, read this detailed account as to how you can rip your CD collection to MP3 like me.

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No Wonder These Are Paranoid Times

VirusA bunch of Sony BMG Music Entertainment CDs were recently sold with copy-protection technology that not only hides the copy protection from view, but also leaves open a hole that could hide other malicious software. The software is intended to prevent us from burning too many copies of the CD or ripping the songs to DRM-free MP3s. It's spyware, it's malware and it's bullshit.

Sony says they'll no longer produce CDs with this First 4 Internet software but for many it's too late. Because this software hides itself so well on a PC, virus writers are piggy backing on this gaping security hole and wreaking havoc just as far under the covers. Even your anti-virus software can't find it. This is totally irresponsible and worthy of one massive class action lawsuit.

Here's a list of the Sony rootkit CDs. You'll notice Our Lady Peace's Healthy In Paranoid Times on that list. I already teed off on this disc because I couldn't rip the thing to MP3 without my AnyDVD solution. Ironically, the fact these are paranoid times prevented me from installing Sony's rootkit. Long ago I disabled autorun and swore never to install a music company's proprietary software to play the tunes because it's never worth it.

If you think you've played one of these infected Sony CDs on your PC, go here and install the patch that unhides this crudware. If you don't have the software on your PC, it will tell you right away and you will sleep better at nights.

With companies like Sony aiding the bad guys, it's almost impossible to stay healthy in paranoid times.

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Maple Leafs 2, Sabres 5

Go Leafs Go!This game was a great deal closer than the score suggests. You can add this to the list of games we've lost that we should have won. In April, when we miss the playoffs by 2 points, we'll have plenty of games to blame.

We've now lost four straight road games. Of course, we've never played well in Buffalo. The Sabres have won 14 of 21 against us in Buffalo, including the playoffs. The trip along the QEW is totally draining.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
18 points
4th in Northeast
5-2 Loss vs. Buffalo
6-4 Win vs. Washington
5-4 Loss vs. Washington
B. McCabe - 20
J. O'Neill - 16
E. Lindros - 15

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"You know those balls that they put on car antennas so you can find them in the parking lot? Those should be on every car!"

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Pillow Fight!

TorontoA giant, urban pillow fight has just been scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 14:00 EST at Dundas Square. Specifics on where to meet at Dundas Square are available here. Here are the rules...

Soft pillows only! Do not hit anyone who does not have a pillow. Do not hit people who are holding cameras. Swing lightly, there will be many people swinging at once! Remove expensive glasses beforehand. Extra pillows may come in handy. Feather pillows are even more fun. Do not begin until the signal (a referee whistle.)

I love this kind of thing.

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Arrested Development Cancelled

TVThe funniest show on television has just been cancelled. Fox cut the third-season order on the Emmy-winning "Arrested Development" to 13 episodes which means we don't have many moments remaining with the Bluth family. The ratings are so bad, Fox won't let the show near November sweeps so we'll have to wait until December 5th for the next episode.

I just watched two new episodes this week and they were hilarious. No other show on television can touch it. "Arrested Development" carries far more laughs and far smarter laughs than a new episode of "The Simpsons", "Curb Your Enthusiasm", "Family Guy" or any other network shitcom. It's a damn shame the one clever, edgy and purely hilarious show has to go so soon.

Why didn't you watch? I told you to watch. Proof is right below...

  • Arrested Development - "Arrested Development" is very well written, very well acted and entirely addictive. It's hilarious. Clearly, the three funniest shows on television are "The Simpsons", "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Arrested Development". Try it once and you'll be hooked. Quality like this doesn't rear it's pretty face very often and rarely sticks around. - July 19, 2004
  • The Friday Five - My favourite television shows still being produced. - August 20, 2004
  • The Emmys - As for Arrested Development, it is such a diamond in the rough. Just when I was about to give up on network television I discovered this show and it's hilarious. - September 20, 2004
  • Rescue Me - Below are the shows I actually make an effort to watch. - September 30, 2004
  • Laugh Tracks - "The Simpsons", "The Larry Sanders Show", "The Kids in the Hall", "The Family Guy", "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Arrested Development" are all shows I've found hilarious over the years and not one of them employs a laugh track. - October 7, 2004
  • Appointment Viewing - "Arrested Development" is hilariously written, well acted and extremely smart. It's the funniest new show since "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and the first time I've been excited about a network show since "The Family Guy". It's such a pleasure to watch, I'm always totally bummed when the half hour ends and I know it's another week before I get to enjoy the Bluth family again. - December 11, 2004
  • Leno or 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. - February 10, 2005
  • Is This It? - Tomorrow night is the second season finale of "Arrested Development". It's also likely the series finale. "Arrested Development" ranks 118th this season to date in the United States and had its order shortened from 22 to 18 episodes. - April 16, 2005
  • Arresting Developments - I'm continuously raving about "Arrested Development" because it's a jewel of a comedy in a steaming, heaping pile of crap. In April, when the season two finale aired, I asked "is this it?". All indications were that Fox would cancel the show due to poor ratings. It's great, but nobody watches. - May 14, 2005
  • The Friday Five - Five shows that made/make me laugh my ass off (excluding The Simpsons). - August 5, 2005

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite "remember" songs

  1. Do You Remember Rock N' Roll Radio - The Ramones
  2. Remember - Disturbed
  3. I Will Remember You - Sarah McLachlan
  4. I Remember You - Skid Row
  5. Do You Remember - Jack Johnson

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Guest Blog Entry

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

omg i dont no wat to do every one that i think are gay keep caling me solar panal because i have a big head and i no why the **** do they call me that i mean get a life but when they call me it i get very upset but try not to show it



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What Might Be

RaptorsThe NBA record for futility belongs to the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers who finished that season 9-73. They began the season with 15 straight losses, and also recorded losing streaks of 20, 14, and finally 13 to end the season.

The Raptors, out of the gate 0-4 and looking dreadful, are a serious threat to set a new standard for futility in the NBA. Divert your eyes kids, this is gonna get ugly.

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What Might Have Been

Blue JaysWhen Chris Carpenter was named the National League Cy Young Award winner yesterday, I started thinking of what might have been. Carpenter and Roy Halladay were once the bright future of our Toronto Blue Jays, until Carpenter suffered a serious shoulder injury and flew the coop after the 2002 season.

Imagine Halladay and Carpenter leading the charge for the Jays. It might have been spectacular.

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In Flanders Field

PoppyIn Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
      - John McCrae, In Flanders Fields

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Never Forget

PoppyFew veterans of the First and Second World War are around to share stories about the horrors of war and remind us why so many fought for freedoms we now take for granted. We must never forget these brave souls and we have an obligation to share with our children this message.

Many Canadians paid the ultimate price in war...

South Africa War (1899-1902) - Approximately 7,000 Canadians served; 267 of them gave their lives.

First World War (1914-1918) - Approximately 650,000 Canadians served, including members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served with British forces (Newfoundland was a colony of Great Britain until 1949) and merchant mariners. Of this number, nearly 69,000 gave their lives.

Second World War (1939-1945) - More than one million Canadians and Newfoundlanders served in Canada's armed forces, in Allied forces or in the merchant navy; over 47,000 of them gave their lives.

Korean War (1950-1953) - 26,791 Canadians served in the Canadian Army Special Force; 516 of them gave their lives.

Peacekeeping - Nearly 125,000 Canadians have served in peacekeeping missions over the past 53 years; as of October 2000, 113 Canadians had given their lives in this service.

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. Three I took this evening and the fourth was from last weekend.

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360 lbs of Paint

AirplaneI've always wondered how much extra weight primer and paint adds to a Boeing 767. Luckily, I no longer have to live without knowing the definitive answer to this age old question. Air Canada will strip paint from its planes to lighten its load by 360 lbs and save on fuel costs. Stripping the paint and primer will save AC $24,000.

I recommend renting the paint stripper from Stephenson's.

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Lucky Me!!!

FrisbeeAt work, when we need to blow off steam or take our minds off of the wonderful world of software development, a bunch of us grab a frisbee or two and head to a nearby field to toss it around. We track the number of successful catches in a row and gage our daily performance by how high we can get that figure. And yes, we call it frisbee even though frisbee is a brand name and the generic term is actually "flying disc".

A few weeks ago, I hung up one of those perfect frisbee tosses that seems to hover for seconds at eye level right in front of your target. As this perfect throw was in mid-air, the recipient spontaneously declared "Lucky Me!!" The phrasing and pronunciation in that moment was awesome. Instantly, a new catch phrase was born. When you're the recipient of a perfect throw, you proclaim "Lucky Me!!" just prior to making the catch as a sign of props to the guy or girl who threw it to you. Writing "Lucky Me!!" doesn't do it justice, it needs to be said in just the right manner, staccato style with three harsh syllables and a slight drag on the meeeee.

Lately, I've found myself exclaiming "Lucky Me!!" in the world outside of frisbee. If I arrive home from work and am greeted by big hugs from the kids, it's "Lucky Me!!" If somebody surprises me with something good I wasn't expecting, it's "Lucky Me!!" If I win the weekly football pool, which I did a couple of weeks ago, it's "Lucky Me!!"

Here are a couple of unlucky frisbees...

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayKill Bill's Browser - This link is for the 58% of visitors to this site that still use Bill's browser. If you see that evil blue e in the top left corner of your PC right now, there are thirteen good reasons to switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox waiting to be read.

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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.

The Tragically Hip - Wheat Kings
This song was bouncing around my head all day. It's an absolutely stunning composition from The Hip about David Milgaard who spent 8,355 days behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. I dare anyone to tell me they don't like this one. I double dare you.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

There are 3 R's in school - reading, riting & rithmatic. The 4th R (religion) belongs outside of our educational system. That's what churches are for. Where do you draw the line? This 4th R is a family choice not an educational matter. If a family decides to dedicate their childs beliefs in accordance with their education I believe they should enroll their kids in a special school totally dedicated to their religion - not gov't funded but funded by their religion. It's the parent's choice - not the state (or province).

      twins from Bolton

I hear ya... I happened to attend schools all my life that were religion-based and funded by the government. When I was really young, I just assumed there were school boards for other religions too. When I realized this was unique for Roman Catholics, I wondered how non-Catholics felt about this slight. The constitution demanded a publicly funded Catholic education but that was 138 years ago. Times have changed.

I personally don't have a problem with students learning about the world's many religions and spiritual beliefs and actually view that as a positive, but when the science curriculum includes details on Adam and Eve, I'm freakin'!

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Kansas, thy name is irony:

Read it.

...but at least Pennsylvania has the right idea:

Read it.

      Mike H.

Intelligent design appears to be the new term for creationism. As a wise man once said, you can call your ass a turkey, but that doesn't make it Thanksgiving. Or does it?

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Hey Mike, I was wondering how come you did not make an entry about the Simpson's Treehouse of Horror XVI that aired this past sunday ? You usualy make comments of a special Simpsons episode, although I must admit it was not on of the best.. But how about Family Guy ? I think that was the best espisode of all ! The intro, with the Ben Laden bloopers and Stewie's Big Wheel ride, I can't recall the last time I laughed that hard !!!


I hardly consider the annual Treehouse of Horrors episode special. When it's the season premiere I'll write about it, but when it's just another episode I don't consider it entry-worthy.

I'll be the first to admit the episode was disappointing. It didn't seem particularly smart or funny, two dependable trademarks of "The Simpsons". At this point I feel it's necessary to point out that I don't watch with blinders on. I totally understand why people say it's half the show it used to be, because it is. Still, I watch religiously and I don't intend to stop. For more on why I still watch, read Why I Still Watch.

I actually missed "Family Guy" on Sunday because after "Curb Your Enthusiasm" at 20:30 I flipped over to "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" to watch their two hour movie with both teams of detectives. It's good to see my old buddy Mike Logan again...

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Maple Leafs 6, Capitals 4

Go Leafs Go!The first period of this game scared the crap out of me. We simply couldn't lose both ends of a home-at-home against the Capitals, not if we had any intention of competing for a playoff spot. After 20 minutes of play and down 2-0, I felt queasy.

Five unanswered goals did the trick and an important two points went to the good guys. Not to be overlooked, Carlo Colaiacovo registered his first career NHL goal. CC pick up that guitar and talk to me!

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
18 points
4th in Northeast
6-4 Win vs. Washington
5-4 Loss vs. Washington
5-3 Win vs. Tampa Bay
B. McCabe - 20
J. O'Neill - 16
E. Lindros - 14

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The New Michael Power

SchoolI just learned about a new action hero in Africa who goes by the name Michael Power. He's an invention of Guinness and he stars in shorts as a James Bond type who enjoys a pint now and then. It's an extremely popular campaign in Africa.

The name Michael Power is a familiar one to me. I attended Michael Power High School for five years at it's former location on Dundas just west of Islington. Today condos stand where the school once did in a new development called Michael Power Place.

Here are some Michael Power artifacts that have nothing to do with Guinness or James Bond. Well, they had nothing to do with James Bond at least.

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Real Topeka People

BibleWhat the hell is going on in Kansas? The Kansas Board of Education approved new public-school science standards today that promotes the teaching of creationism.

The board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is "no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena". Here in Toronto, such concepts seem ass-backwards, but all I need to do is re-read this entry form November 2004 to remind myself that 37% of Americans want the teaching of 'evolutionism' replaced outright.

I was floored then and I'm floored now. Religion is fine and dandy if that's your cup of tea, but as soon as you start to take the Bible literally you're in reverse. Black + white = danger. We must maintain our sight so that we can detect all fourteen shades of grey.

We're not in Kansas anymore...

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Tragically Dipping

The Tragically HipThere's a neat interview with Gord Downie in today's Globe & Mail. At the conclusion of the interview, Brad Wheeler notes the declining sales of Hip albums. Here are the sales statistics.

  • The Tragically Hip (1987) 350,000
  • Up To Here (1989) 1,250,000
  • Road Apples (1991) 935,000
  • Fully Completely (1992) 1,035,000
  • Day for Night (1994) 780,000
  • Trouble At The Henhouse (1996) 575,000
  • Live Between Us (1997) 375,000
  • Phantom Power (1998) 405,000
  • Music @ Work (2000) 210,000
  • In Violet Light (2002) 130,000
  • In Between Evolution (2004) 101,000

These numbers speak volumes. New Hip albums don't sell particularly well. I'm shocked the excellent In Between Evolution only moved 101,000 units. 50 Cent can cough up that number in a good hour. Some will blame illegal downloading. I blame Music @ Work.

1998's Phantom Power was fantastic. "Bobcaygeon", "Fireworks", "Poets" and "Something On" instantly became classics and staples of their live shows. 2000's follow up "Music @ Work" wasn't up to snuff. The lead track was poppy and fun, but there wasn't much after that. "Lake Fever" was sweet, but only the diehards seem to appreciate it and even the diehards lack love for this disc as a whole. Phantom Power sold 405,000 units whereas Music @ Work sold just about half that amount. The next two releases, both outstanding in my humble opinion, sold even less.

Of course, there's rarely a correlation between quality and sales totals. This is not an exception. In Between Evolution may have stalled at 101,000, but if The Hip want to book a week of concerts at the ACC, you can bet they'll sell every seat.

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The Third Person

FamilyJames refers to his younger self in the third person. If we're looking at pictures of him as a baby, he'll refer to the person in the picture as Sweet Baby James. He doesn't say "that's me!" or "that's James!", he says "that's Sweet Baby James!".

According to my non-scientific study, pictures of James fourteen months old or younger are pictures of Sweet Baby James whereas pictures of him over the age of fourteen months are merely pictures of James.

Goodnight you moonlight ladies, rockabye Sweet Baby James...

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Non-Confidence Man

OttawaNew Democrats leader Jack Layton has withdrawn his support for Paul Martin's minority government. Layton doesn't dig the Liberals' lack of desire to stop the increased use of private heath care. As a result, he's no longer got Martin's back.

This means we may see a confidence motion introduced on November 15, with a vote possible on the following day. The last time the Liberals faced a vote of non-confidence was The Thrilla on Parliament Hilla when the late great Chuck Cadman dramatically sided with the Prime Minister in a nail biting 153 to 152 finish. There are times when following Canadian politics is akin to watching paint dry, but nothing was further from the truth on May 19.

I can't wait to do it all over again, but can my heart take it?

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The Monday Shuffle

iTunesEvery 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 with a personal story about one of them.

  1. Soap - Eminem
  2. Hold Your Head Up - Agrent
  3. Heaven Can Wait - Meat Loaf
  4. Helpless - Neil Young
  5. Where Have You Been? - Jay-Z
  6. Incarnate - The Watchmen
  7. 9 Teen 90 Nine - Limp Bizkit
  8. Autumn Shade II - The Vines
  9. Goodnight Josephine - The Tragically Hip
  10. Disclaimer - The Offspring

The Offspring... where do I begin? Over a decade ago, CFNY Edge 102 started playing "Come Out and Play" from their breakthrough album Smash. It was a cool song with a cool video and was soon followed up by an even better tune, "Self Esteem". I bought Smash and quickly labelled it a play-through, an album without a weak track you could spin on repeat without boredom. It was all good, from 1 to 14. Even the hidden track was good. Damn I liked that album.

Their follow up was good too, but it was no Smash. Subsequent releases disappointed me and today Smash is the only Offspring album I'll intentionally spin. Ya gotta keep 'em separated.

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Maple Leafs 4, Capitals 5

Go Leafs Go!We have to win these kinds of games. With all the killer games we have against teams in our own division this season, we've got to secure points against teams like the Capitals and Hurricanes. At least we have to if we want an invitation to the big dance this spring.

Mikael Tellqvist has had better nights and was probably haunted during his sleep last night by that first goal he allowed. Jeff O'Neill seems to be revitalize by Mats Sundin's return, which is good, but Bryan McCabe and Tomas Kaberle seem a little tired. Our blue line is so thin those two have to play half the game. I'm worried about what they'll be like in the dog days of February.

And finally, we say farewell to Nathan Perrott who was shipped off to Dallas yesterday for a conditional pick in the 2006 draft. I'd say he'll be missed, but that's a lie.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
16 points
4th in Northeast
5-4 Loss vs. Washington
5-3 Win vs. Tampa Bay
4-3 Loss vs. Carolina
B. McCabe - 18
E. Lindros - 13
J. O'Neill - 13

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I'm a Creep

Question MarkIt started when I started reviewing Dave Cassel's list of the 100 greatest internet moments. While cruising down memory lane I learned about a video for an acoustic version of Radiohead's "Creep". This moment was ranked in the top 100 and I had no recollection of it.

The video is stunning. The song alone is wonderful, but the animation in the Flash video set to the tune blew me away. It was perfect and I had never seen it before.

How did I miss this? I consider myself rather web savvy, I'm a Radiohead fan and a huge fan of the song "Creep", but you won't find a link or a reference to this video on my August 2004 archive page, the month it was launched. To be precise, this video hit the web on August 3, 2004, and I'd like to use the birth of daughter as an excuse, but I managed to link to the Batman Begins teaser trailer on August 5th.

I completely missed the boat on this gem. If you're one of the few who hasn't seen it yet, check it out.

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Maple Leafs 5, Lightning 3

Go Leafs Go!Mats Sundin has been a Maple Leaf for over a decade. During that time, I've always felt he got a bum rap from fans. Perhaps it's because he's not Canadian, perhaps it's because he's not Wendel Clark or Doug Gilmour, but there's no doubt he's under appreciated in Toronto.

The fact of the matter is, he's our best player. In fact, for a decade now he's been our best player. There have been flashes of greatness from Curtis Joseph, Alexander Mogilny and Ed Belfour, but season after season you can bet #13 is displaying the greatest amount of skill and leading the charge. I'm not a huge Sundin fan myself, but I can appreciate what I see more often than not, and I saw it again last night. The man can play.

Sundin's goal and assist helped the Leafs win an important Saturday night game against the defending Stanley Cup champs. When you play in the Northeast, every game is important. Ottawa and Montreal are threatening to run away and hide and Boston and Buffalo don't seem particularly interested in conceding. It's going to be a dogfight to the finish.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
16 points
4th in Northeast
5-3 Win vs. Tampa Bay
4-3 Loss vs. Carolina
2-1 Win vs. Florida
B. McCabe - 16
E. Lindros - 13
J. Allison - 12

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change."
      - Dan Quayle

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The High Park Zoo

ZooSure, there's a world class zoo at Meadowvale Road and 401, but that's a pretty good jaunt east and at $19 an adult, awfully expensive. Only five minutes away there's a free zoo that garners no attention but totally rocks. I'm talking about the good ol' High Park Zoo.

The kids and I spent a few hours there today enjoying the wide variety of animals. There are deer, llama, various sheep and goats, yaks, bisons, peacocks and more. We even saw a rabbit. Who needs lions and tigers and bears when you've got yaks?

I created a Flickr photoset from the trip. Best zoo in the world!

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Thank you for posting Escapa! Mike. I now have a new computer addiction to add to my numerous list. I so far have a chart topping high of 41.86. Ryan will be so happy you introduced me to this!


In my defense, I scored by 31 after playing around for only a few minutes. It seems there's a definite pattern and with a little commitment I could blow that score to kingdom come.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayEscapa! - This is a very simple game that's awfully addictive. Simply click and hold the red square. My record is 31 seconds.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"I wish God were alive to see this."

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HappyI'm enjoying at extended period of unassisted happiness. No Prozac, Paxil or other antidepressant is playing a role. I'm just as happy as a pig in shit.

Here are twenty "happy" songs from my collection.

  • Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy - Ren & Stimpy
  • We're A Happy Family - Ramones
  • Shiny Happy People - R.E.M.
  • The Happy Song - Otis Redding
  • Happy Home - 2Pac
  • Happy In The Meantime - Lit
  • Happy - hHead
  • Are You Happy - Iron Butterfly
  • I'm Happy Just To Dance With You - The Beatles
  • Blues Happy - Arrested Development
  • I'm So Happy - The Jackson 5
  • Trigga Happy Nigga - The Geto Boys
  • Look Happy, It's The End Of The World - Matthew Good Band
  • Happy To Hang Around - Travis
  • Happy Now? - No Doubt
  • Happy Man - Chicago
  • Happy Jack - The Who
  • Only Happy When It Rains- Garbage
  • My Happy Ending - Avril Lavigne
  • Put On A Happy Face - Tony Bennett

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Guest Blog Entry

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

I was talking to my sister on MSN today and she had me try out something funny that I think you and your readers might enjoy. Go to Google and type "failure" then press I'm Feeling Lucky instead of Google Search. I think you will get a chuckle.


Ah yes, the good ol' Google bomb. A perfect excuse to point out that a CBS poll on Wednesday put Bush's job approval rating at 35 percent, his lowest since taking office in 2001. Dubya Dubya F.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayBlue Ball Machine - It's a blue ball machine, no doubt about it.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite songs from The Cult

  1. She Sells Sanctuary
  2. Fire Women
  3. Love Removal Machine
  4. Wild Flower
  5. Rain

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Noticeably Absent

Howard SternSirius Canada announced their 100 channel lineup the other day. Here are some quotes from the CBC write up about the story.

Music channels on Sirius Canada's lineup will include U.K. music from BBC Radio 1, Stephen Van Zandt's Underground Garage, Jimmy Buffet's Radio Margaritaville and Eminem's Shade 45.

Sports channels will include three dedicated play-by-play stations for NHL, NBA and NFL games as well as ESPN News.

News services include National Public Radio Now, Bloomberg Radio, CNN and BBC World News.

Martha Stewart Living Radio, Laugh Break, Maxim Radio and E! Entertainment Radio are among the other offerings.

Controversial but popular DJ Howard Stern, who joins Sirius Satellite Radio in the U.S. in January, will not be in the initial Canadian lineup, according to Sirius Canada.

Back in June when the CRTC first approved satellite radio in Canada, I wrote that a key difference between Canada and the USA would prevent Canada from ever hearing an uncensored Howard Stern radio show. Whereas the FCC in the United States doesn't police satellite radio the way they do terrestrial radio, the CRTC here treats them both the same. As I wrote back in June, this is bullshit. Adults will subscribe to the service and buy special hardware to receive the signal. Considering these facts, a subscriber would be well aware as to what kind of content they will be exposed to, which may or may not include a little "obscene or profane language".

At least this eliminates a decision I was due to make in approximately eight weeks.

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Maple Leafs 3, Hurricanes 4

Go Leafs Go!I'm convinced these are exactly the kind of games we have to win if we're going to make the playoffs this season. It's a game we could have won and it's a game we should have won. The kids were providing all the offense with Alexander Steen scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist and Matt Stajan matching his point production. Jeff O'Neill's homecoming was a complete bust.

With Mats Sundin returning Saturday, things should improve offensively. Quinn will hopefully play Steen alongside Sundin which should provide more than a few skillful thrills.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
14 points
Tied for last in Northeast
4-3 Loss vs. Carolina
2-1 Win vs. Florida
8-0 Loss vs. Ottawa
B. McCabe - 15
E. Lindros - 12
J. Allison - 12

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayCassette Jam '05 - Dozens and dozens of memories. Before the MP3 mix, there was the mix tape. We dubbed songs onto cassettes, like this.

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The Radio Had Eyes

RadioDriving around last night, James and I turned the radio to the Raptors game. The newest Raptor provided some pretty awesome moments for my three year old passenger.

"James dribbles the ball up court", "James dishes off to Bosh" and "James with the jumper" were just some of the phrases we heard. I told James that the radio was talking about him and he focused on the commentary only to hear his name again and again. At one point James asked me if the radio was going to talk about me too and right on queue they spoke about James, using his full name, Mike James.

On this night, the radio had eyes.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

A question struck me last night while watching an episode of The Simpsons, and I of course thought of you. I would be curious to know what episode of The Simpsons featured the most guest voices. For this purpose, let's count band members as a single unit rather than individual members. You have 30 seconds. And.....go!

      Mike H.

Without cheating, I immediately think about the Krusty comeback special with Bette Midler, Johnny Carson and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Then I think about the Mick Jagger episode where Homer goes to rock camp. Of course, the logical guess is the softball episode with Darryl Strawberry and the gang.

Hitting the web I see there's a great Wikipedia page called List of celebrities on The Simpsons. It's quite the list, but it doesn't answer your question. Twelve seconds of Googling didn't help either. "Homer At The Bat" is a good guess...

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Just thought I'd let you know. I heard The Hip's 'New Orleans is Sinking' (killerwhaletank version) on 97.7 on the drive home tonight. That's the first I've heard it since Katrina. Is the embargo officially over now?

      Mike H.

Katrina struck New Orleans on August 29, over two months ago. It sounds as if 97.7 HTZ FM out of St. Catherines has boldly gone where no radio station has gone since. They're playing "New Orleans Is Sinking" again...

God bless 97.7 for playing the hell out of the killerwhaletank version. Back in December 2003 I wrote all about this version of the Hip classic. Gord delivers a fantastic monologue about his time as a clean n' scrub man in the C n' S union and you can read it in its entirety by visiting that December 2003 entry.

Welcome back NOIS. You've been missed.

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Haircut #4

ScissorsTonight, James got the fourth haircut of his young life. In reverse-chronological order, here are the rough cuts.

Upon further review, we left a little too much on top. His old man got scalped.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumLloyd Bochner was 81. He was the Toronto-born actor best-known as Cecil Colby in "Dynasty".

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Hip Fans Get It

The HipThe Buffalo News posted a review of Hipeponymous this morning. Hipeponymous is the box set released to celebrate twenty years of The Tragically Hip.

In this review, the Hip are compared to opera. Here's an excerpt:

Hip fans get it. Trying to explain just what "it" is to non-believers is a murky, tiresome affair. Which is where "opera" comes in. Breaking down the Hip's sound to its core tenets doesn't do it; the whole is clearly above and beyond the sum of its parts. But there is something in there, something elusive, that makes this music, this presentation, compelling in a manner that doesn't bow to rational thought. It's dramatic. And its impact is most directly felt in the marriage of theatrical presentation, sonic exploration, ever-present groove, and full-bodied poetic text that the Hip manages to lay down to tape in the studio, and then somehow expands upon in concert.

I get it. Do you?

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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 October 2005.

  1. pearl jam
  2. family guy
  3. stewie
  4. tie domi
  5. homer simpson picture
  6. hurricane
  7. bill barilko
  8. joe carter
  9. halloween
  10. rap traxx

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Gold Glove Duo

Blue JaysThere was a period of time when Toronto Blue Jays were a lock to win Gold Gloves in centre field and second base. From 1991 through 1995 Devon White and Roberto Alomar accomplished the feat every year, translating strong play up the middle into a couple of sweet World Series victories.

The Blue Jays are strong up the middle once more and earlier today centre fielder Vernon Wells and second baseman Orlando Hudson were recognized for their strong defensive work and awarded Gold Gloves.

Before you celebrate future World Series titles you should realize there's a good chance Orlando Hudson will be traded this off season. We'll see if this exciting defensive gem is in our starting lineup on opening day 2006.

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The Maple Music Revolution

MusicOn Saturday, BBC Radio2 is is airing part two of their documentary "The Maple Music Revolution". Here's their description of the feature: "A major two-part series where Bob Harris looks beneath the surface to discover the reasons for the emergence of a unique, creative and dynamic government-funded Canadian music scene." "From Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen to Sarah McLachlan, the Dears and Arcade Fire, Canada has had a massive impact on the way the world listens to music," says Harris.

A happening scene finally gets some international cred. The vast majority of what I'm listening to these days seems to derive from The Great White North. There's Feist, Metric, Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Death From Above 1979, The Hip, Sam Roberts, Sarah Harmer, Billy Talent, Hot Hot Heat, Our Lady Peace, Sloan, Custom, Hayden, Sarah McLachlan, K-OS, Stars, and old school leaders like Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Rush, The Guess Who, Joni Mitchell and The Band.

Check out all 180 artists I've tagged as Canadian on my page. We've got a revolution goin' on in our own backyard.

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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.

Public Enemy - Night Of The Living Baseheads
This is one of my favourite songs from one of my favourite albums by one of my favourite bands. Here it is. BAM!

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumSheree North was 72. She appeared on many TV shows, most notable to readers of this site was her role as Kramer's mother Babs on "Seinfeld."

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Vote For Tom

VoteThe Ford C. Frick Award is an award bestowed annually by the Baseball Hall of Fame to a broadcaster for "major contributions to baseball." This year, our very own Tom Cheek is on the ballot.

Visit the 2006 Ford C. Frick Award Nominee Voting page between now and November 30 to cast your vote for Tom. Be advised that only one ballot per person, per day, will be accepted.

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Maple Leafs 2, Panthers 1

Go Leafs Go!Following Saturday's embarrassment it was a frightful sight to see Gary Roberts score 26 seconds into last night's game. Thankfully, things settled down and we picked up an important W following our worst loss in 14 years.

In other good news, Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin has been cleared to practice. Just in time...

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
14 points
Tied for 3rd in Northeast
2-1 Win vs. Florida
8-0 Loss vs. Ottawa
2-1 Loss vs. Boston
B. McCabe - 15
E. Lindros - 12
J. Allison - 11

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