January 2006 Archives

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DocumentationI use the word "cool" a lot. I always have. I even have James using it. As it turns out, "cool" is a rarity in the world of slang. It "remains the gold standard of slang in the 21st century, as reliable as a blue-chip stock, surviving like few expressions ever in our constantly evolving language. It has, despite the pressures of staying relevant and trendy, kept its cool through the centuries -- even as its meaning changed drastically."

The article also lists slang terms that haven't held up. Below is their list and whether I still use the term occasionally or not.

  • Groovy - I only use this one when I'm intentionally trying to sound out of touch
  • Neat/neato - I do use these once in a while
  • Hip - I use this one all the time
  • Slick - I use this one all the time
  • Keen - I don't really say this
  • Chill - I must confess to saying "chill" almost daily
  • Excellent - I still use this... is it really slang?
  • Heavy - I use this term once in a while
  • NOT - I never said this
  • Outta sight - I don't say this
  • Far out - I don't say this
  • Top drawer - I never said this
  • Buttah - I never said this
  • Dynamite - I rarely say this, unless I'm quoting "Pass The Mic"
  • Phat - I never said this
  • Off the hook - I never said this
  • Sweet - I say this pretty regularly
  • Radical - I still say this quite often
  • Gag me with a spoon - I never said this
  • Super - I say this once in a while
  • Gnarly - I say this but when I say it I'm well aware it's no longer copasetic
  • The cat's pajamas - I never said this
  • Def - I don't think I ever said this
  • Copasetic - The only time I ever used this expression was three lines above
  • Trip - I rarely use this one
  • Fab - I never said this
  • Da bomb - I said this in an ironic fashion
  • Rad - Is "rad" different than "radical"? I admit to using it
  • Beat - I don't use this
  • Classy - I don't use this
  • Wack - Only Kriss Kross used this one, I think
  • Square - I don't use it, but I think I'll start
  • With it - Once in a while, I'll throw down this expression
  • Burnout - Nah...
  • Right on - Occasionally I'll use this one
  • The fuzz - I prefer "pigs"
  • Copper - I never said this
  • Nifty - I rarely said this
  • Out of this world - I never said this

Admit it, this entry was the cat's pajamas.

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My Hallelujah Hunt Continues

BinocularsIt's update time at torontomike.com. In August, I wrote about Gord Downie's "Hallelujah". He covered Leonard Cohen's masterpiece for the movie "Saint Ralph" but I couldn't score a copy of the tune anywhere. I embarked on a hunt for Downie's "Hallelujah".

I conducted a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in the area. I tried iTunes, Amazon, HMV management, eBay, the P2P networks and Googled to my heart's content. There is no sign of this soundtrack. I would happily cough up $20 for a copy, but nobody's selling.

Again, if you have Gord Downie's cover of "Hallelujah" in digital format and can share it with me, please do so. I want this song!

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayOscar Nominees - You know you're curious. These just came down the pipe. It's nice to see "Crash" up for best picture...

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumCoretta Scott King was 78. She turned a life shattered by her husband's assassination into one devoted to enshrining his legacy of human rights and equality.

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Maple Leafs 4, Panthers 2

Go Leafs Go!When Ed Belfour and Mats Sundin play well, this team wins. They were in top form last night and we ended a painful eight game losing streak.

Jay Harrison scored his first point. He's looked pretty good out there as one of three rookies on the blue line. With Bryan McCabe's return tonight, someone will return to the Marlies, but I hope it's not Harrison.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
54 points
Tied for 3rd in Northeast
4-2 Win vs. Florida
4-3 Loss vs. Montreal
8-4 Loss vs. Buffalo
B. McCabe - 49
J. Allison - 43
T. Kaberle - 40

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A Movie ReelP.S.: 4.5 out of 10.

I totally forgot I watched this last night. That tells you how memorable it was. It's not a bad premise but it doesn't go anywhere and you keep waiting for something to happen.

Following this flick, we watched "Stevie", a documentary by Steve James. It blew me away. No wonder I forgot all about "P.S.".

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Guest Blog Entry

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

When I watch Big Fish, I am left with a feeling of wanting to go outside and just ride my bike through the world rather than go and stare out a rainy window. Big Fish is a celebration of life. It urges us to live life as a journey, and not to take anything for granted. It also urges us to spend every second we have just plain soaking life up in all of it's glory. During the last scene of the movie, I'm always left wondering whether or not these are "fish tales" or not and if there is a difference between a lie and a glorified truth because, someone loved what they went thought so much. More that that, I like to think about how I will be remembered too. I always think about my relationship with my father (a very good one, thankfully) and my relationship with my two daughters (still early, but so far so good!) and how dynamic the relationships are, and how important they are to me. There are a few memories of time with my Dad that are frozen for me - I can recall every detail about them. After seeing Big Fish, I'm thankful that I have a pretty good idea of who my Dad is. What affected me so hard in the movie was when Billy Crudup's character (the son) tells his Dad, "I'm about to bring a son into this world, and it would kill me to think he'd grow up not knowing who I was." Stories about us are what will keep us around long after we leave.It's not the story that matters. It's what the story says about us - why we tell it, how we tell it - that matters. Some people listen to the stories themselves; hopefully more will hear the storyteller. With any luck, those that love us will keep the stories (and the storyteller) alive.


A man tells so many stories, that he becomes the stories. They live on after him, and in that way he becomes immortal.

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Back In Black

ConstructionFor years the central tones of this site were blue and white. My blue of choice has been #000080 and I've splashed it all over these pages. The header and main menu, the <H1> tag, the entry dates and titles, all borders, the footer bar and even the input buttons. Life was good.

I've weeded out all instances of good ol' #000080 and replaced it with #000000, better known as black. You might have noticed. I'm back in black, I hit the sack, I been too long I'm glad to be back. Yes, I'm dead loose, from the noose that's kept me hanging around.

Lemme know if you hate the black and white thing or if you just miss the blue. Also, if there's a colour combo you want me to try, spill it.

Still valid XHTML 1.0 and valid CSS, as if you give a damn. You should but you don't and I respect that.

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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. Kalimba Story - Earth, Wind & Fire
  2. Truckin' Thru Traffic - Peetie Wheatstraw & Lonnie Johnson
  3. WCSR - Kid Rock featuring Snoop Dogg
  4. Row - Rheostatics
  5. Four Strong Winds - Ian & Sylvia
  6. Day By Day - Doug and the Slugs
  7. Friend of the Devil - Grateful Dead
  8. Glory of Love - Otis Redding
  9. Funny How - Custom
  10. Vicious - Lou Reed

In the early to mid-80s, I was mainly listening to 680 CFTR. They played top 40 pop music which meant a lot of Platinum Blonde, Corey Hart, Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince and acts like that. Hey, I was a kid!

I distinctly remember listening to the late Tom Rivers in the morning and hearing Doug and the Slugs on a fairly regular basis. Doug and the Slugs had three hits: "Too Bad", "Making It Work" and "Day By Day". I enjoyed all three. "Day By Day" was a catchy sing-along song that used to bounce around in my head throughout the day when I caught it in the morning. When lead singer Doug Bennett passed away in October 2004 I called them "the Canadian indie band of my youth". That sounds about right.

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Big Fish

Tear DropI just cried like a baby. I'm not talking about a manly cry where you grimace and a tear escapes from one eye, I'm talking about an actual cry. The sad thing is, I knew I was going to cry and there was nothing I could do to stop it. You see, I've just finished watching "Big Fish" and every single time I've watched this movie, and I've seen it dozens of times, I've cried at the end without exception.

I've written before about the effect this movie has on me. There is no other movie that extracts this response from me after multiple viewings. I'll swell up during a scene in "Field of Dreams", but that's it. With "Big Fish", it perfectly presses my buttons in a manner that leaves me a blubbering fool.

Critics will tell you Tim Burton has done better work, but I beg to differ. You'll also hear the great Albert Finney has been better, but I haven't seen it. IMDB.com users rank 174 films higher, but I find that hard to believe. "Big Fish" is the perfect storm of exceptional direction, an inspiring screenplay and actors who assume their roles perfectly. Still, I've seen a number of fantastic flicks, but none cause me to respond as emotionally as this one does. Why does "Big Fish" cause big tears?

It's that triple smack-down at the end. With Ed Bloom lying on his death bed, his non-believing and bitter son Will tells the final story. The story is in full Ed Bloom-style and fulfills the witch's prophecy. Everyone is there, everyone is happy and Will carries his father into the river where he becomes a big fish. This scene starts the tears flowing, Ed passes away but not before his son finally understands him and makes peace with him. Then, there's the funeral. This is where I really cry. The characters Ed spoke about in his elaborate stories are there, lending credence to what Will always assumed was hyperbole. Karl the Giant is there, Amos Calloway is there, Ping and Jing are there, Norther Winslow is there, they're all there and they're all sad to say goodbye to their pal Ed. Will realizing that his father had lived such adventures strikes a chord in me. Whereas the previous scene is Will buying into the stories to satisfy his dying father, this scene is Will realizing they were true all along. He now believes as I do. Just when I'm in full weep mode and can't take any more, the credits start to roll and I hear Eddie's voice starting "Man of the Hour". As I said, it's a triple smack-down and resistance is futile.

I'm not one to re-watch movies. Even movies I really liked rarely get a second viewing. I have a handful of films that I'll watch over and over again, but they're few and far between and lately I haven't had much of an urge to watch any of them. "Big Fish" is the great exception. It's as if the emotions it unleashes in me have created a chemical addiction to the movie. Even without the great ending, it's a fantastic movie that seems custom made for me, but throw in that ending and I need "Big Fish". Crying is great therapy and men don't try it nearly often enough. As I wrote before, only six things have made me cry in the past five years, and only one of those things is a fictional movie I can revisit over and over and over again.

And I will.

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TV Notes To Self

TVNote to self: record or watch the following programs airing this week.

  • Stevie - CBC Newsworld, Sunday, January 29, 2006 @ 22:00: "Award-winning filmmaker's (Hoop Dreams) 'big brother' relationship with a troubled young boy."
  • Shakin' All Over - CBC, Monday, January 30, 2006 @ 20:00: "A joyful look at Canadian music from the 60s, that traces the evolution of a young industry with stories from such artists as Buffy Sainte-Marie, Lighthouse, Steppenwolf and The Guess Who, in harmony with a younger generation of stars (including Barenaked Ladies, Blue Rodeo and Sloan) who reveal the impact some of these earlier songs and songwriters had on their music."

Don't forget, Mike.

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Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 4

Go Leafs Go!Eight is enough!

With a measly one goal lead heading into the third, the Leafs acted as if they were simply killing off a twenty minute Montreal powerplay. There was no effort to extend the lead, simply a weak attempt to hold on and squeak out a badly needed two points.

We're 0-8 without McCabe in the lineup. Lets hope/pray/wish for his return tomorrow night in Florida.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
52 points
Tied for 3rd in Northeast
4-3 Loss vs. Montreal
8-4 Loss vs. Buffalo
4-3 Loss vs. Ottawa
B. McCabe - 49
J. Allison - 41
T. Kaberle - 40

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"We lost because we told ourselves we lost."
      - Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

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Tiananmen Perspective

GoogleI wrote the other day about Google being a little evil with their move into China. They've agreed to comply with China's ruling Communist Party and censor "sensitive" material so it doesn't appear in their searches. For what it's worth, Google has responded to criticism.

What I find most disturbing is that Google has helped authorities there delete the Tiananmen Massacre from the history books. Here are screen captures of two image searches for Tiananmen, one on Google.cn and one on Google.com.

Yuck. Now that's evil.

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Riddle Me This

HumourIt doesn't happen often, but it happened today. For only the second time in recent memory, I'm unsure about a For Better Or For Worse strip.

If you read today's strip, you'll see the final frame is Elly's employee staring at a telephone book that appears to have been bitten. There's a chunk of the phone book missing with teeth marks indicating someone chomped into it. In the previous frame, Elly is sensably acknowledging that "the key to successful salesmanship is not to take rudeness personally".

Are we to believe Elly was so frustrated by the rudeness of the two women loitering in her store that she took a bite out of the white pages? Is it even possible to do this without losing your teeth? As I did last time, I'm reaching out to you for some answers. What's the joke here?

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumLen Carlson was 68. He was the narrator in the popular Canadian cartoon Rocket Robin Hood, the voice of several Marvel cartoon characters including Captain America and Spider-Man's enemy The Green Goblin, and the voice of Bert Raccoon in CBC's The Raccoons.

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A Drought Too Long, Too Brutal and Too Unfair

Stanley CupIn my lifetime, which gets longer by the day, my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs have never played in a Stanley Cup final. How is that fair? Some have it worse. Those born during the summer of 1967 can make the same claim, and they're seven years older than me, about to celebrate their 39th birthday.

Here are the teams that have played in a Stanley Cup final in the years since 1967. It's quite the long and depressing list.

  • Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Calgary Flames
  • New Jersey Devils
  • Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Dallas Stars
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • Washington Capitals
  • Philadelphia Flyers
  • Florida Panthers
  • New York Rangers
  • Vancouver Canucks
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Minnesota North Stars
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Boston Bruins
  • New York Islanders
  • St. Louis Blues

Here are the active teams that haven't played in a Stanley Cup final since 1967.

  • Atlanta Thrashers
  • Ottawa Senators
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Nashville Predators
  • Phoenix Coyotes
  • San Jose Sharks

Do you notice anything unique about the seven teams above? They're all pretty new franchises. The San Jose Sharks are the oldest team in the books having played their first season in 1991-92. If you're looking for the worst franchise drought, you can look at the Coyotes formerly known as the Winnipeg Jets who played their first NHL season in 1979-80. Still, this isn't quite the same thing and doesn't come close to our stretch of futility.

I am cursed to have been born in Toronto where a love of the Leafs comes as naturally as breathing. Home games are sold out whether we're first in the conference or last. The incentive to win is non-existent. How is it Richard Peddie can fire Rob Babcock, a man he hired less than a couple of years ago, because he was inexperienced. Didn't Peddie hire John Feguson, Jr. recently, a man much younger and less experienced than Babcock was?

I voted Liberal for four federal elections in a row, but even I went on the record as feeling it's time for a change. I didn't vote red this time. The same can be said for Pat Quinn. It's time for a change. Lets send him and Fergie packing and bring in an experienced and proven General Manager to get things back in order. I'd like to play in a Stanley Cup final before I die. It might be nice to win one, too.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"I was working on a flat tax proposal and accidentally proved there was no God."

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SLS Submission

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS15 consideration. I submitted "Rock & Roll Queen" from The Subways.

It's a little Oasis-ish, but it's a pretty damn good little rock song. Besides, there's nothing wrong with sounding a little Oasis-ish, just ask Jet. The Subways are a British indie band from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.

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I'll Never Join You!

Star WarsJames is adamant that he will resist all urges to join the Dark Side. His favourite quote from "Star Wars" is from Luke Skywalker when he resists Darth Vader's invitation to "bring order to the galaxy". "I'll never join you!"

Slag off, Vader. James will never join you!

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite Chris Penn movies

  1. Reservoir Dogs
  2. True Romance
  3. Short Cuts
  4. The Funeral
  5. Footloose

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayFastr - Using Flickr images, this game loads images sharing a common tag. I find it awfully addictive. I just scored 57...

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Being A Little Evil

GoogleGoogle's corporate motto is "Don't be evil". Google's new China site doesn't seem to live up to this code of conduct. It seems a little evil.

In China, Google is censoring material deemed objectionable by authorities. China's ruling Communist Party finds a great deal to be objectionable and Google has been censoring everything from references to teen pregnancy, drinking and dating to any allusions to alcohol, Tiananmen Square and sex of any kind. Even jokes are being blackballed.

Google's being a little evil here, but at least they haven't yet censored me.

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Maple Leafs 4, Sabres 8

Go Leafs Go!Things haven't been this bad since January 1997. For the past seven games the Leafs have looked uninspired, disinterested and alarmingly inferior to their opponents. It's now safe to say a career year for Bryan McCabe managed to mask a number of our flaws. Once McCabe went down, a paper-thin defense was exposed along with a very regular Ed Belfour. Belfour, bless his heart, is 40 years old and now allows one or two questionable goal a game. His save percentage is only .887 and his goals against average is a hefty 3.45. I fear he's done. It's time to move on.

McCabe, Darcy Tucker and Eric Lindros returning to the line up will help, but we desperately need new bodies for the blue line. It's also time to platoon Belfour with Mikael Tellqvist, before it's too late.

There's still hope for a playoff birth. We're only one point behind Atlanta for 8th in the conference and we've got a couple of games in hand. Beating the Habs on Saturday night is essential.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
51 points
3rd in Northeast
8-4 Loss vs. Buffalo
4-3 Loss vs. Ottawa
7-0 Loss vs. Ottawa
B. McCabe - 49
J. Allison - 39
T. Kaberle - 39

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Losing Songs

MusicWe're down 2-1 after one period. Will this be seven in a row? Here are my favourite losing songs....

  • Losing My Religion - REM
  • Losing California - Sloan
  • I'm Losing You - John Lennon
  • Angels/Losing/Sleep - Our Lady Peace
  • Losing Hope - Jack Johnson
  • I Can't Stand Losing You - The Police
  • The Losing End (When You're On) - Neil Young

It wasn't that long ago that I was bragging about how I spent my Christmas vacation. This has to stop eventually, right? Have mercy.

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Babcock Gets The Boot

RaptorsI was never a fan of the Rob Babcock hiring. He quickly began to prove me right when he selected Rafael Araujo with the eighth pick of the 2004 draft. Then, there was the Vince Carter trade.

A year and a half after he was hired, Babcock has been fired by the Toronto Raptors. "I'm disappointed that Rob was the wrong choice for us," said Richard Peddie, who hired Babcock. "In hindsight (I) should have got someone who was more proven."

You didn't need hindsight Dick. You just needed to chat with me.

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Rennie Park Memories

HockeyWhen I heard the Toronto Maple Leafs had an outdoor practice yesterday at Rennie Park, I smiled. It sure looks different than I remember, but it's still Rennie Park where I played all my hockey as a kid.

I didn't just play hockey there, I played tee-ball and softball at Rennie Park as well. Throughout the 80s, Rennie Park was where I played.

It was sweet seeing my Leafs playing where I played, even if it barely resembles the arena I remember.

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Weekly MP3

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

Broken Social Scene - 7-4 (Shoreline)
This is a fantastic cut off of their latest release. My weekly MP3s in 2006 have thus far been all Canadian, all new and all amazing. Try this one on for size... if you dare!

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayPunch-Out! - Carter just got me thinking about Super Mario Bros., a game I played over and over again in my youth. Another game we played ad nauseum was Mike Tyson's Punch-Out! This is a great re-enactment of that classic Nintendo game.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

WoW, Heavy news week, lets all do our best to keep this government in check while we all continue to voice ourselves on behalf of our country. This is an important time for Canadians to assert who we are, and what we expect from our Leader(s) and each other. Who else feels like its time to get real, and hold strong for the people of Canada&Quebec.

This on the same week as Super Mario calls it Game Over. Here's 6 fireworks to you & 1000000pts!
<banG!> <banG!> <banG!> <banG!> <banG!> <banG!>
I'm sure he'll be back in another sequel to save a princess or kill a dinosaur. ya no

Looking for a change of topic, Got 2 cents to give on New Music?? Why not say it on the SLS page? I like it! So many great new tunes its ridicules. Props to Mike on his 106 song recap; I wonder how many people didn't know of half of em', (or did)

- This is Coach C saying -

Calgary is a great city to live! Alberta is an awesome, welcoming, positive action kindof province; Calgary and Edmonton have the best crowds in the Land. Let's keep our Country in the highest working order! <Rattle some cages> and lets win Lord STANLEY and Madame GOLD for CANADA!



It takes more than a Conservative minority government to strip this nation of its excellence. I hear many good things about Alberta and I rooted for Gretzky's Oilers in the 80s. Gold in Turin, the Stanley Cup in Toronto and the ultimate demise of Bowser!

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumChris Penn was 43. He was the brother of actor Sean Penn and starred in dozens of films.

I'll always remember him as Nice Guy Eddie Cabot in "Reservoir Dogs". "Larry, stop pointin' that fuckin' gun at my Dad!"

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Sorry to see one of the best of all time retire but it was surprising he came out of retirement a short while ago. One of the best playmakers ever.

ALL THE BEST SUPER MARIO - you made the hockey fraternity VERY proud.

      A penguin (from T.O.)

You've stolen my thunder. I was just about to write an entry about the Magnificent Mario Lemieux.

I never had the pleasure of watching the Rocket, Gordie Howe or Bobby Orr play, but I got to enjoy two talents that far surpass all others I've witnessed. I consider them 1a and 1b on the list of all time greats. One wore #99 and the other wore #66.

Pound for pound, there was no one better. I remember Lemieux's trips to Maple Leaf Gardens when he'd skate in on goal with a couple of Leafs literally on his back. He'd always score. I'll never forget 1987 when Wayne Gretzky set him up for the winning goal with 1:26 left in the final game of the Canada Cup series against the Soviet Union. That was my generation's Paul Henderson goal. I'll never forget how he came back from Hodgkins' disease, played only 60 games and still won his fourth scoring title with 160 points. I'll never forget the two times I watched him play live, knowing I was witnessing a slice of NHL history.

He truly was magnificent.

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No Blue In The T.Dot

CN TowerThere were 23 seats up for grabs in Toronto last night. On a night when the Conservative Party was elected to form a minority government, Toronto had other ideas. Not a single one of Toronto's 23 seats went to a Conservative candidate.

In 2004, every one of our 23 seats went to the Liberal party except for Jack Layton's riding. This time, the result was identical except Olivia Chow won her riding and Peggy Nash won my riding. That gives us twenty Liberal MPs and three NDP MPs. In Montreal and Vancouver, the results were similar with the Conservative party also being shut out in both cities.

Stephen Harper's Conservative Party cannot win in Toronto because of how close to our hearts we cherish our socially liberal values. The mere suggestion of repealing our abortion laws or revisiting the same-sex marriage debate upsets the average 416er. Toronto, like Montreal and Vancouver, is a progressive, open-minded, accepting and sensible city that will not sacrifice these values at any cost. So long as the Conservatives can't make a dent in Canada's big cities they will never win a majority.

The plan is coming together nicely. Paul Martin's resignation as leader is imminent and a new leader will emerge who doesn't belong to Jean Chretien or Martin. The new leader will unite this nation and return us to our former stature as the envy of progressive nations across the globe.

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Bulte Nashed

VoteIn my Parkdale-High Park riding, NDP Peggy Nash defeated Sam Bulte 20690 to 18489. One of those 20690 votes belonged to me.

This is a new age of communication. The main stream media no longer controls all information disseminated to constituents. Bloggers have real power when it comes to spreading thoughts, ideas and knowledge. My first entry about the perception Bulte was firmly placed in the recording industry's pocket came after reading this entry on Michael Geist's blog. Living in this riding and having a keen interest in our copyright law, I followed up that entry with this, this, this, this and this. Other local bloggers with a far higher profile than I also began writing about this concern and before you knew it I was reading about it in the mainstream media.

Bulte might have got away with this in a different age, but in 2006 there's nowhere to hide. Nash's victory is a victory for us all.

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Maple Leafs 3, Senators 4

Go Leafs Go!The Senators must love facing us in the regular season. In six games against us they have twelve points.

Losing sucks.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
51 points
3rd in Northeast
4-3 Loss vs. Ottawa
7-0 Loss vs. Ottawa
5-3 Loss vs. Colorado
B. McCabe - 49
J. Allison - 39
T. Kaberle - 38

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My Prediction

Question MarkWith a half an hour remaining until live election night coverage and my Leafs down 2-0 in the second intermission, this would be a good and fair time for me to unveil my prediction. Our election gag law is proof that this prediction is not based on any actual data.

  1. Conservative: 130
  2. Liberal: 88
  3. Bloc: 56
  4. NDP: 33
  5. Green: 1

Here's hoping I'm wrong.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Soooo Mikieee how's the parade planning coming along? He He He

      The Grinch

I'm pretty sure my tongue was firmly planted in my left cheek when I started planning the parade. On August 3, 2005, I offered a more accurate preview of what I feared was looming ahead.

I'm quite concerned. We looked entirely disinterested on Saturday night. I'm not sure who can score on this team, I'm not sure who cares that we're mired in a five game losing streak, I'm not sure who can actually play solid defense and I don't trust the average goaltending we've been receiving. We're clearly outclassed by the Sens but I'd love to slip into the playoffs just to see what would happen if we met them in the post season. If we lost in four, nobody would be surprised, but if we somehow managed to pull off the upset of the decade...

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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. Flamenco - The Tragically Hip
  2. Songbird - Oasis
  3. Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black) - Neil Young
  4. Delta - Crosby, Stills & Nash
  5. Ezekiel 25-17 - Jules
  6. Rock Me - Steppenwolf
  7. Threat (Undone The Sweater Song) - Jay-Zeezer
  8. Breed - Nirvana
  9. Cupid - Jack Johnson
  10. Sugar - System of a Down

I'm guessing most of you have never heard of Jay-Zeezer. Jay-Zeezer is a mash up of Weezer's Blue album and Jay-Z's Black album. I'm a fan of both discs, so I naturally enjoy The Black and Blue Album.

"Threat" fits perfectly atop "Undone - The Sweater Song". Even the talking at the beginning sounds as if it belongs. I've heard a number of bad mash ups, but the good ones are worth their weight in gold. Of course, they don't have any weight which makes the preceding statement moot.

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Vote Today

VoteWhen you don't vote, you let others speak for you.

We are fortunate to have fair and democratic methods in place for the selecting of political representation. To not take part in the process or to feel like our opinion doesn't matter, would be to waste the incredible power that we possess.

The power of a single vote is staggering. It is our right to stand up and be counted, and the way we do that is by casting our ballot. Don't forget to vote in today's Federal Election.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

To the people of Canada,

I ask all of the clear thinking men and women to consider carefully the voting choice they will take tomorrow. This Federal election is potentially a disaster for the Canadian way of life if we permit the fanatics of a Harper led gang to form a government. This Conservative gang is NOT the same "progressive" minded Tories' like Joe Clark or Robert Stansfield of yesteryear.

What's at stake is clear and simple;

  • Womens rights,
  • Canadian involvement in Iraq,
  • National Medical Plan vs. Private Clinics,
  • Same Sex Relationships, (Read into that the protection of the Canadian Charter of Rights).
  • Canadian way of life over American pressure, the list is almost endless.

I will be watching the city of my birth during this election and I'm confident the Liberal minded people of Toronto will elect Liberal M.P's. In this matter I hope Ontario will make us proud tomorrow. I don't know if I believe in miracles but I hope the voters of Ontario will carry on the proud tradition of supporting the Liberal party since October 2003.

      The Leaf fan in B.C.

I share many of your sentiments. I do, however, wish to make a comment about strategic voting.

In 2004, I voted Liberal as a defensive maneuver to keep Harper out. I even wrote about how I couldn't vote NDP because a vote for the NDP was a vote for Harper. I've had a change of heart and mind regarding this strategy. I now realize it's important we vote for the MP we want representing our interests. If that's the Green Party, vote Green. If that's the NDP, vote NDP. We should all vote for who we want to win. I'm hopeful and confident that the majority of Torontonians share my values and will vote red, orange or green.

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Michael Moore Blogs About Us

MegaphoneMichael Moore's latest blog entry is aptly named "Michael Moore Statement on Canadian Election". In it, he hopes our threat to elect a Conservative government tomorrow is a joke, or as he calls it, "reverse irony". Here's a taste of what he's written.

These are no ordinary times, and as you go to the polls on Monday, you do so while a man running the nation to the south of you is hoping you can lend him a hand by picking Stephen Harper because he's a man who shares his world view. Do you want to help George Bush by turning Canada into his latest conquest? Is that how you want millions of us down here to see you from now on? The next notch in the cowboy belt? C'mon, where's your Canadian pride? I mean, if you're going to reduce Canada to a cheap download of Bush & Co., then at least don't surrender so easily. Can't you wait until he threatens to bomb Regina? Make him work for it, for Pete's sake.

His entry has pissed me off. Not because he's an arrogant American belittling us but because he's bloody well right. I hate the idea of that party in power in my country. Twins from Bolton has me thinking about the undecided voters. There may be more than we think, and they may like the idea of a Conservative government as much as I do. Maybe this is all a joke and we aren't really about to elect a guy "who should really be running for governor of Utah".

Do you believe in miracles?

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Naivity In The Late 1990s

DigitalWe've come a long way in the past ten years when it comes to our collective understanding of the world wide web and internet-based communications. In the late 1990s, I pulled a simple prank on my family that was far more effective than it should have been.

An article hit TSN.ca about a trade involving our Toronto Maple Leafs. I simply viewed the source of the HTML page, saved it to my local PC, changed the relative links so they were absolute and edited the copy so it contained a few additional lines of text. I had it refer to a young goaltender by the name of Mark Gowan from Mississauga, Ontario, who had just been signed by the Leafs. I even included a quote from someone in the Leafs organization about the promise of this prospect. Gowan was and is my cousin who was playing goal in the CIAU for the University of Guelph at the time. I then sent this new HTML file to my mom and brothers and waited for a response.

I honestly didn't think it would trip anybody up. Had I pulled this same prank today, nobody would even flinch. In the late 90s, however, they took the bait. Congratulatory phone calls were even made, causing some embarrassment once the jig was up. I never intended it to appear so valid that a call would be placed to my aunt giving her a scoop about her own son that was too good to be true. Everyone believed this mock TSN.ca article to be legitimate. It had to be, after all, it looked just like the web page!

They were different times those naive nineties. In this age of phishing, spoofing and efraud, we're all armed with a healthy dose of jade.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

I have to agree with anonymous a few weeks back. I as well do not see any election signs in my area. We only had 1 person (representing a candidate) come to our door since the election was called. 2 of the major party candidates (NDP & Conservative) don't live in this riding. How can THEY represent us? Tomorrow is a LOSE-LOSE situation. Another election will be upon us shortly.

What a waste of taxpayers $$.

I still haven't made a choice-much like the rest of our country. It will be a game time decision.

      Twins from Bolton

The Liberal and NDP candidates in my riding have a bunch of signs in my neighbourhood, but I see as many Green Party signs as I do Conservative Party signs. We've had visits from Liberal, NDP and Green reps.

I wonder how many Canadians are making a game time decision? I wonder how game time decisions will break down? My hunch is the majority of game time decisions will benefit the Liberal Party as Canadians vote defensively as opposed to offensively.

I'll have both eyes on Ottawa tomorrow night. One will be watching election coverage, the other will be watching the Leafs and Sens.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Well only one day to go. I was hoping that people would start to take notice and change their opinion before a grave mistake is made.

What is more distubing, that is in my Ottawa area we are set to become covered in blue. This from an area that depends on federal jobs. As a husband and father of a young daughter my biggest fear is the set back for womens's rights. The conservatives will set them back 100 years and they might as well wear pilgrim hats.

Wake up Canada before it is too late!

      Mark from Ottawa

I emphasize with you, but I fear it's already too late. I don't sense a last-second-Hail-Mary-come-from-behind victory.

Here in Toronto proper, also known as the 416, it's still pretty red with a little orange here and there but the 905, a force in its own right, looks to be turning true blue. For what it's worth, women's rights should be preserved in full by a Conservative minority and if Harper veers too far to the right he won't get re-elected. The majority of this country is small "l" liberal and won't tolerate pilgrim ideals.

We'll let the general will take the test drive it desires and we'll do this all again in 18 months. With the right leader in place and the message signed, sealed and delivered in January 2006, we'll once again be the progressive, liberal-minded voice of reason in the world and the envy of open-minded, educated souls across the globe. Sit tight buddy, we're in this together and it's going to be okay.

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. They're all from yesterday's 4th birthday party for the boy formerly known as Sweet Baby James. There's a Flickr photoset too!

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Maple Leafs 0, Senators 7

Go Leafs Go!The Leafs are 0-4 when the Boon boys hook up to watch any part of a game, 0-5 against our provincial rivals and have now lost five games in a row for the first time this decade. There's no way to sugar coat this, we're looking awful.

We're stuck in Ottawa where we play the Sens again on Monday. Will two big blue machines be rolling to victory in Ottawa tomorrow night? Don't bet on it.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
51 points
3rd in Northeast
7-0 Loss vs. Ottawa
5-3 Loss vs. Colorado
4-3 Loss vs. Phoenix
B. McCabe - 49
J. Allison - 39
T. Kaberle - 37

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing."
      - Vince Lombardi

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Pro-User Zealot Bumper Sticker

CarI have to get one of these for my car. Inspired by Sam Bulte's infamous statement, the words now define a movement. Proudly pronounce yourself a pro-user zealot!

It's the final weekend before Monday's vote. Thankfully, it's looking like we'll avoid a Conservative majority. I've come to grips with the reality of a Conservative minority a long time ago. In December of 2003, polls showed Paul Martin had 48% of the popular vote. Today, it's half that. The more Canadians got to see Martin as their leader, the less they liked him. My last sentence in my last entry of 2004 echoed this sentiment.

Is this a leader?

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayClassic Commodore 64 Games Online - A number of my old favourites here are, from BombJack, to Paper Boy and Wonder Boy. I adored my 64.

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Land Of 1000 Reasons

MusicFollowing the death of Wilson Pickett earlier this week, I posted my favourite Wilson Pickett songs. At the top of the list was "Land Of 1000 Dances". How this song came to be my favourite Wilson Pickett song has everything to do with wrestling. Allow me to explain.

In the early and mid-80s, I loved WWF wrestling. I watched every week, attended a few live performances and had my favourites. I was a huge fan of Rowdy Roddy Piper but like everyone else I had a keen interest in the popular actors of the time: Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy, Junk Yard Dog and others. In 1985, The Wrestling Album was released and I loved it. The lead track on side A (remember when we had sides!!!) was "Land Of A Thousand Dances?!!?" and it featured a number of wrestlers singing along with altered lyrics until Piper loses it at the end. "This is Hot Rod talking!"

Naturally, in the late 80s, I became interested in the original version of this song. Hearing Wilson Pickett's version reminded me of that the wrestling album I enjoyed so much as an eleven year old. Without Wilson Pickett, there would have been no "Land Of A Thousand Dances?!!?".

No wonder the enjoyment of songs is so subjective. So many factors and variables go into determining what we like and dislike. It's amazing there's any common ground.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"Always submit to peer pressure."

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. Two are of the birthday boy on his 4th birthday, one is from a few weeks back and one is from decades ago.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumAnthony Franciosa was 77. His strong portrayals of moody, troubled characters made him a Hollywood star in the 1950s and '60s.

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Happy 4th Birthday James!

BirthdayFour years ago today, James entered the world. I can't believe it's been four years already. Time flies when you're having fun.

James was due in late February, 2002. His arrival was five weeks early, but it was almost far earlier than that. I'll never forget the night of December 8, 2001. On that day, I threw on my Leafs jersey, picked up Steve and hit the highway to pick up Ryan. We had tickets to see the Leafs and Rangers at the ACC. As we pulled into the parking lot of Ryan's work, he had this highly concerned look on his face. Instead of jumping in the car he asked me to get out of the car because he had bad news. He had received a call on his cell from my mom that Taryn was in the hospital and unborn James was likely gone. Instead of heading to the ACC that night I ended up jetting straight to the hospital.

James, obviously, wasn't gone. That was some miscommunication, but there were complications and Taryn was in labour. A pediatrician shared with us all the potential complications babies this premmature experience and we hoped he's hold off for another month at least. He managed to do better than that, and although he spent ten days in an NICU ward after his birth, he's done remarkably well.

Today, James is a thoughtful, creative, active, smart and loving boy. His zest for life is addictive and his tender approach with Michelle is inspiring. He's so lovable it's frightening.

Happy Birthday Son!

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite songs from Wilson Pickett

  1. Land Of 1000 Dances
  2. In The Midnight Hour
  3. Mustang Sally
  4. 634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.)
  5. Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumWilson Pickett was 64. He was the soul pioneer best known for the fiery hits "Mustang Sally" and "In The Midnight Hour."

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayThe Monster At The End Of This eBook - I'm linking to this one because I'm planning on showing it to James tonight. Actually, Michelle will get a kick out of it too. Hell, I'm enjoying it - good stuff never gets old.

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Maple Leafs 3, Wild 5

Go Leafs Go!Is it too early to hit the panic button? That's four losses in a row with the next couple of games in Ottawa. No Leafs team has lost five in a row since Pat Quinn strolled into town way back in 1998.

Our defense is pretty thin with Bryan McCabe, without him it's translucent. We'll require a couple of sold blue liners if we want to make and survive a round in the playoffs. Let's hope the rumours about Brian Leetch are true.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
51 points
3rd in Northeast
5-3 Loss vs. Colorado
4-3 Loss vs. Phoenix
4-3 Loss vs. Vancouver
B. McCabe - 49
J. Allison - 39
T. Kaberle - 37

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More Sam Bull Spit

VoteI've written quite a bit about Sam Bulte this month. It began with this entry, continued with this one and seemed to conclude yesterday with this one. Checking in on the news of the day has inspired me to write one more about my current MP.

In this Toronto Star article, Bulte was asked about whether it was right that she accept money raised at a recording industry fundraiser considering the fact she has worked on a copyright law. She said, "They are not hosting a fundraiser for me. ... It's a celebration of my support for the arts community."

As Michael Geist points out, Bulte's own website and brochures for this $250-a-plate get together clearly refer to it as a fundraiser. Accordion Guy is even sharing a screen capture of Bulte's site which refers to the event as a "FUNDRAISER" in red, capital letters. There's also the official invitation which calls it a fundraiser and clearly states "All funds raised will go to Sam's re-election campaign".

There's something rotten in the State of Denmark. She's insulting the intelligence of every one of her constituents. How can she tell Canada's most read newspaper that an event is not a fundraiser while promoting the fact it's a fundraiser all over her official web site?

Fellow Parkdale-High Park voters, I urge you to seriously consider NDP candidate Peggy Nash. Enough Bulte.

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Axl Rose Breaks His Silence

Thumbs UpIs there a guy my age who didn't love Guns N' Roses? I'm sure there is, but I'm not him. I was a huge fan.

Although Axl Rose is the only guy left from the glory days of the band, he's been promising a new album for about a decade now. Every year I read some promise somewhere that Chinese Democracy is ready for release. There was some heavy teasing a few years back when a bloated Axl panted through a new tune and a classic at the MTV Video Awards but then there was nothing. He surfaced at an L.A. party last weekend and Rolling Stone wrote this article about it.

Forget the fact he's once again promising Chinese Democracy will see the light of day this year and focus on the photo of him at this L.A. party. He's wearing a friggin' Toronto Maple Leafs jersey. "Dressed in a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, cross hanging around his neck, cornrows still intact and sporting a blonde goatee, Rose strolled into the party around 1 a.m., just as the DJ was coincidentally rocking some vintage Gn'R."

Go Leafs Go!

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayVote Selector Quiz 2006 - Answer 20 questions and find out which candidate is for you. I scored 100% for NDP, 70% for the Bloc, 64% for the Liberals and 58% for the Conservatives.

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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 New Pornographers - Use It
This was my third favourite song of 2005. It's fantastic and it's CanCon. If you haven't heard it already, give it a listen.

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News From Das Hip

The HipThe Tragically Hip wanted us to know they're currently in the process of recording a new studio album with producer Bob Rock. Once completed, they will be out on the road performing select shows in Canada, the USA and Europe this year. I've been itching for a Hip show, so this is great news. A Canada Day show at the Molson Amphitheatre would be perfect.

The Hip have also announced that they've blown away the old Hip Club we all joined back in 2002 in favour of new club that requires a paid membership. "With the paid membership, you will get front-of-the-line opportunities for concert tickets, special audio and visual content, an online and in-depth Q and A with the band, members-only merchandise, and EXCLUSIVE access to "Hip Club Only" special events, shows and other surprises". This sounds a great deal like Pearl Jam's Ten Club. They haven't announced the price yet...

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Maple Leafs 3, Avalanche 5

Go Leafs Go!I was enjoying a great road game with the Leafs leading by a goal when we took a penalty in the second period for having too many men on the ice. That put us two men down and Milan Hejduk promptly scored. That put us only one man down when Milan Hejduk scored again to give the Avs a lead they would not relinquish. Ed Belfour had a rough second period allowing a couple of weak goals, including a super-softy from Cody McCormick.

That's three losses in a row. Bryan McCabe's injury is worse than we though and there's still no telling when we'll see Eric Lindros and Darcy Tucker again. Montreal is playing with new gusto under Bob Gainey, New Jersey is on fire, Atlanta is going gang busters and Tampa Bay, defending Stanley Cup champions, are only a point out of 8th in the conference. Only three of the five will qualify for the post-season. We need to get healthy, find a clue on defense and get better goaltending if we want to be playing in the second season.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
51 points
3rd in Northeast
5-3 Loss vs. Colorado
4-3 Loss vs. Phoenix
4-3 Loss vs. Vancouver
B. McCabe - 49
J. Allison - 37
T. Kaberle - 37

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Edge 102's Top 102 of 2005

RadioOn New Year's Eve 2005, CFNY Edge 102 counted down their top 102 songs of the year. I would have posted their list earlier in the year, but I couldn't find it on their site. I finally wrote Alan Cross about it and he got me in touch with the guy at Corus who maintains the site who sent me here.

Instead of just listing the 102 songs, I'm gonna throw my two cents in the mix. What the hell, it's my site.

# Artist Song My 2 Cents
102 Linkin Park/Jay-Z Numb/Encore 5/10 - Not a bad combo, just underwhelming.
101 Projet Orange Tell All Your Friends 5/10 - This was an okay tune, it just failed to resonate.
100 The All American Rejects Dirty Little Secret 2/10 - I had little interest in this one.
99 LCD Soundsystem Daft Punk Playing At My House 7/10 - I thought this was pretty cool.
98 Arcade Fire Wake Up 10/10 - #98?!?? Was it punished for hitting the charts too late in the year? It was my favourite track of the year. Appeared on SLS14.
97 Slipknot Duality 7/10 - I was a big fan of this single from Slipknot. I still shout out the refrain when I hear it. It appeared on SLS13.
96 Disturbed Stricken 6/10 - Not bad but not great. This was the final tune selected for SLS14.
95 The Music Breakin' 5/10 - The Music sound bored me. I just couldn't get into it.
94 Bloc Party Banquet 8/10 - I'm sorry I didn't throw this one on SLS14. It will likely appear on SLS15. I love it.
93 Depeche Mode Precious 3/10 - Wake me when it's over. Zzzzzz.
92 The Chemical Brothers Galvanize 1/10 - I'm giving this one a low score simply because I don't remember it at all.
91 Audioslave Your Time Has Come 7/10 - I thought this was a fantastic album and I put this tune on SLS13.
90 Mobile Montreal Calling 6/10 - A friend of mine urged me to put this single on SLS14. It didn't make the cut, but it's not a horrible tune. It's sort of catchy, I suppose.
89 Alexisonfire Accidents 2/10 - Shouldn't I like Alexisonfire? It's CanCon, yet I don't dig it. Accidents happen...
88 The Waking Eyes On A Train 3/10 - This was rather forgettable.
87 Goldfinger Wasted 4/10 - I used to like Goldfinger. Now their releases seem boring.
86 Thornley Beautiful 4/10 - If Thornley was American, we would never have heard this song on the radio.
85 Fall Out Boy Sugar, We're Goin' Down 5/10 - Not bad... At times, I enjoyed this one but it got tired pretty damn quick.
84 K-Os W/ Sam Roberts Dirty Water 6/10 - I don't consider this one of the stronger cuts on this fantastic K-Os release. Having said that, it's still pretty good. The album is fantastic.
83 Hedley Villain 2/10 - Mr. Canadian Idol pales in comparison to that cover of Levon the albino guy did in season one.
82 Death Cab For Cutie Soul Meets Body 8/10 - This song deserved a much higher ranking. It's pure sweetness and it appeared on SLS14.
81 The Used All That I've Got 5/10 - I can take it or leave it.
80 Metric Monster Hospital 7/10 - Another catchy number from Metric. It made SLS14.
79 Matthew Good Oh Be Joyful 8/10 - I really liked this song that appeared on the recent Matt Good greatest hits album. It easily made SLS14 because the ears want what the ears want.
78 The Bravery An Honest Mistake 4/10 - I tried and tried to dig it, but I guess it's not my scene.
77 Rise Against Swing Life Away 3/10 - Rise Against didn't get a rise out of me.
76 Alter Bridge Find The Real 4/10 - Post-Stapp Creed isn't terrible, but is completely unnecessary.
75 Switchfoot Stars 4/10 - I'm not going to trash Stars, I'm just going to pass Stars.
74 The Waking Eyes Beginning 4/10 - Another forgettable tune from 2005.
73 Unwritten Law Save Me 5/10 - Save me.
72 White Stripes My Doorbell 9/10 - So catchy it should be illegal. Once you start singing it, you can't stop. Consider yourselves warned.
71 Foo Fighters D.O.A. 7/10 - I supposed I'm biased but I liked this tune. It appeared on SLS14.
70 Theory Of A Deadman Santa Monica 4/10 - They still play this almost every morning. I'm just tired of it. It wasn't that strong to begin with.
69 Louis XIV Finding Out True Love Is Blind 8/10 - I had a lot of fun with this single and put it on my top ten of the year. It appeared on SLS13.
68 My Chemical Romance I'm Not O.K. 3/10 - I don't get the whole My Chemical Romance thing. I don't think I'm missing anything.
67 Coldplay Fix You 6/10 - Nice tune and all, but you're better off just spinning "Don't Panic" on a continuous loop.
66 The Mars Volta The Widow 8/10 - This was one of my ten favourite tracks of the year and it appeared on SLS13.
65 Collective Soul Counting The Days 3/10 - Are these guys still around?
64 Matt Mays & El Torpedo Cocaine Cowgirl 5/10 - Depending on my mood I either thought this was a pretty cool tune or a waste of time. It's the epitome of 5/10.
63 Simple Plan Me Against The World 1/10 - Will Simple Plan please go away.
62 Jakalope Feel It 4/10 - I left this tune off of SLS13 because it's simply unworthy. It's okay, but okay isn't good enough.
61 311 Don't Tread On Me 4/10 - This is a truly mediocre single by 311. There's enough mediocrity in this world.
60 Bif Naked Let Down 3/10 - I used to really like Bif Naked but now she's a wannabe pop princess. #60 is awfully flattering for this song.
59 Nine Inch Nails Only 6/10 - It's been a while since I really liked a NIN song, but I really liked this one. It appeared on SLS14.
58 U2 City Of Blinding Lights 3/10 - I've been done with U2 for a while now. This is another fine, nice song from my Irish brothers. Whoopie.
57 Franz Ferdinand Do You Want To? 6/10 - It's catchy and good enough for SLS14.
56 Staind Right Here 4/10 - These guys disappoint me. They show so much more promise than they deliver. They could be great.
55 Kaiser Chiefs I Predict A Riot 7/10 - This was a cool track I was happy to put on SLS13. I think it's better than #55.
54 Kasabian Club Foot 6/10 - I almost put this track on SLS13 but it got cut at the last second. It's not bad.
53 Garbage Why Do You Love Me 4/10 - This is another band I used to really like but no longer admire. They're stale now, offering less than stellar material.
52 Franz Ferdinand This Fire 9/10 - When this song was fresh, it was fantastic. It's still good, even two thousand spins later.
51 Keane Somewhere Only We Know 6/10 - If you want a mellow track, you can't do much better. It's sweetness.
50 Arcade Fire Rebellion (Lies) 9/10 - This is perhaps my second favourite song on my favourite album of 2005. It's spectacular.
49 Weezer We're All On Drugs 5/10 - This song bored me.
48 The Trews So She's Leaving 5/10 - I don't think I particularly enjoyed this song, but whenever it came on I found myself singing along.
47 Marilyn Manson Personal Jesus 6/10 - Was this 2005? We slapped this remake on SLS12. It was a weak period - it's not a great song.
46 Sum 41 Some Say 2/10 - Some say Sum 41 are good. I'm not one of them.
45 Sloan All Used Up 7/10 - This was a surprise hit from Sloan and I was happy to hear it. Fun power pop.
44 Nickelback Photograph 2/10 - Sappy, weak song with cheesy lyrics. Pure crap.
43 Jimmy Eat World Work 4/10 - I have Futures, and it's a disappointing disc. This might be the best song, but that's not saying a whole lot.
42 The Offspring Can't Repeat 4/10 - I miss the boys from Smash. Have you seen them?
41 U2 Vertigo 3/10 - If you scroll up, you'll read my U2 thoughts. Lets move on.
40 System Of A Down B.Y.O.B. 9/10 - One of my ten favourite songs of the year. SLS13 was lucky to have it. Bring it on.
39 Lenny Kravitz Lady 4/10 - That's nice.
38 Jack Johnson Sitting, Waiting, Wishing 5/10 - That's also nice. I'm tired of nice.
37 Oasis Lyla 7/10 - I thought this Oasis track was as good as the Oasis I remember. It was truly solid.
36 Stars Ageless Beauty 9/10 - One of my ten favourite songs of the year. It appeared on SLS14.
35 Death From Above 1979 Romantic Rights 10/10 - Does it get much better than this? A heavy favourite of mine and a high finisher in my top ten of 2005. SLS14 was anchored by this gem.
34 Social Code Beautiful 5/10 - A lot of songs get the title "Beautiful", have you noticed that?
33 Modest Mouse Float On 9/10 - How did this make the 2005 list? It appeared on SLS11 which was released in June of 2004. This sucker had legs.
32 Boy Up In This Town 4/10 - I barely remember Boy.
31 Beck Girl 8/10 - This was a great Beck single and worthy of SLS14.
30 Papa Roach Getting Away With Murder 6/10 - This is another tune that seems more 2004 to me than 2005. It appeared on SLS12 which tells you I thought it was pretty good.
29 Hot Hot Heat Middle Of Nowhere 7/10 - Another solid single from Hot Hot Heat scored them an appearance on SLS14.
28 Seether Remedy 6/10 - I've said it before and I'll say it again. This song was written and performed to sound like Nirvana. The Kurt in his delivery is eery but it just makes you miss the real deal.
27 U2 Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own 2/10 - Another U2 song? Argh.
26 K-os Crucial 7/10 - This was a great album.
25 The Marble Index Not So Bright 6/10 - For the longest time I thought this song would appear on SLS13. It didn't, but it was very close.
24 Green Day Wake Me When September Ends 8/10 - Great album and great song.
23 Audioslave Doesn't Remind Me 9/10 - This was one of my favourite songs of the year. It's an instant classic and it appeared on SLS14.
22 Bedouin Soundclash When The Night Feels My Song 3/10 - I know people loved this song, but I hated it. I just thought it was weak. I heard it 100 mornings in a row and it put me in a sour mood every time.
21 Social Distortion Reach For The Sky 5/10 - I'm surprised to find this song so highly ranked.
20 Hot Hot Heat Goodnight Goodnight 8/10 - James and I both loved this song. It appeared on SLS13.
19 Our Lady Peace Where Are You 6/10 - At first I didn't like this song, then it grew on me and I started to like it, then I got sick of it. The new OLP album was rather disappointing.
18 Arcade Fire Neighbourhood # 3 (Power Out) 9/10 - Dammit, every song on this album is mind blowing. This tune appeared on SLS13.
17 Theory Of A Deadman No Surprise 6/10 - I like the fact this song got soccer moms to say "that bitch is killing me".
16 White Stripes Blue Orchid 9/10 - Awesomeness - crunchy style! It appeared on SLS13.
15 Thornley Come Again 6/10 - Not bad at all... It almost made SLS13 too.
14 Audioslave Be Yourself 8/10 - I like Audioslave, can you tell?
13 Beck E Pro 8/10 - A return to form for my pal Beck. It appeared on SLS13
12 Nine Inch Nails The Hand That Feeds 5/10 - I fought against this song's inclusion on SLS13 because I didn't feel it was SLS-worthy. I eventually gave in, but I'm now exacting my revenge by humiliating Trent with a pathetic score of five.
11 U2 All Because Of You 2/10 - U2 again?!?!?! Never has mediocrity been so celebrated!
10 Gorillaz Feel Good Inc. 8/10 - I regret this song never appeared on an edition of SLS. It grew on me late in the game and I opted for "Dare" on SLS14.
9 Coldplay Speed Of Sound 6/10 - This is nice and all, but it didn't rock my world. Try that "Don't Panic" thing I suggested above.
8 The Killers All These Things That I've Done 7/10 - That "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier" part is gold. This song appeared on SLS13.
7 Green Day Holiday 6/10 - I never really loved this song from American Idiot. There were many better.
6 Weezer Beverly Hills 6/10 - Catchy enough to appear on SLS13, I got pretty tired of it fairly quickly.
5 Queens Of The Stone Age Little Sister 8/10 - Solid, straight up rock. It appeared on SLS13.
4 Foo Fighters Best Of You 8/10 - A solid first single from this double album from the Foo. It appeared on SLS13.
3 Green Day Boulevard Of Broken Dreams 8/10 - I preferred this slower single to the high powered opening single "American Idiot". It appeared on SLS12.
2 The Killers Mr. Brightside 8/10 - I'm pretty sure this song peaked in 2004, but I suppose it was strong enough to linger well into 2005. All in all it's a rather contagious single that was suburb when it was fresh. It appeared on SLS12.
1 Sum 41 Pieces 3/10 - Are you kidding me? Is this some kind of joke? What a pathetic choice for #1. I suspect the members of Ajax' Sum 41 have pictures of Alan Cross in compromising positions.

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Same Ol' Threat

VoteEarlier this month, I wrote about Sam Bulte and her conflict of interest. She's the MP in my riding who has backed U.S.-style copyright laws while the Canadian Recording Industry Association and the Canadian Motion Pictures Distributors Association filled her coffers. I admitted in that entry that I was giving Peggy Nash, our NDP candidate, serious consideration.

Last week I wrote about Sam Bulte's "pro-user zealot" statement. I pointed out that in 2004, Bulte won by less than 3,500 votes over Nash. I called upon my neighbours to send a clear message that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable. I had made up my mind.

It's deja-vu all over again. Apparently, I had these same thoughts last time. Here it is in black and white. At that time, only a few weeks before the last federal election, I confessed "I've been considering the possibility I might cast my vote for Jack Layton's NDP."

This will be the fifth federal election I've voted in. The previous four times I cast my vote for the Liberal candidate. The streak will be broken Monday night.

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Imaginary Heroes

A Movie ReelImaginary Heroes: 7 out of 10.

Movies about dysfunctional families have always appealed to me. This one is pretty good. We kick things off with a suicide and immerse ourselves in the characters, well portrayed by Sigourney Weaver, Emile Hirsch, Jeff Daniels and others.

It's better than you think.

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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. Don't You Believe A Word - Sloan
  2. Guitar Man - Elvis Presley
  3. Creepy - Rusty
  4. Blew - Nirvana
  5. First Impression - Ice-T
  6. Sweet Surrender - Sarah McLachlan
  7. Ready To Meet Him - DMX
  8. What's Going On - A Perfect Circle
  9. Sweet Baby James - James Taylor
  10. Not For You - Pearl Jam

It seems appropriate that "Sweet Baby James" would show up during The Monday Shuffle this week. My James isn't a baby any more, but he's sweeter than ever and as difficult as it is for me to believe, the little dude is turning four on Friday.

I've always loved this song. It is, after all, one of my ten tracks. I'm going to end this entry prematurely and give my boy a big hug and kiss.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayMartin Luther King, Jr. - "I Have a Dream" - Here's an MP3 of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. I heard it earlier today and it still gives me chills. Here's a PDF file of the transcription. "From every mountainside, let freedom ring."

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Congratulations to you both and thank you for sharing. The world would be a better place with more of that "mushiness" all around.


You mean, I was mushy?!?!? Yikes, what's this going to do for my rep?

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My Tenth Wedding Anniversary

WeddingToday, Taryn and I are celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary. Here's the story of us...

In early January of 1996, when she was twenty and I was twenty-one, we were chatting on the phone one night as we often did. We had only met eight months earlier, but we quickly fell in love and decided remarkably early on that we'd one day tie the knot. As I recall this particular conversation, Taryn suggested we just do it. I called her bluff and we met on the eastbound platform of Ossington station the next morning. We were on our way to City Hall.

The first step was applying for a marriage license and $53 later we had what we needed to legally marry. We could either get wed at Old City Hall or the new one, but I preferred the old one because it seemed more romantic. Taryn agreed and we shot over to Old City Hall to book the next available appointment with a Justice of the Peace. That appointment was booked for January 15, 1996 at 14:00 EST.

Next, we went to a little jewelry store in the basement of the Eaton Centre and negotiated a decent deal for two wedding rings. I still have the receipt and I still wear mine daily.

For better or worse, I have always strongly believed weddings were for the couple being wed. I see it as the most personal and private of ceremonies where two people pledge to spend eternity together. In this vein, we decided to get married and tell our families afterwards. I suspect Taryn also feared her family would try and stop the ceremony for fear I had brain washed her and was holding her against her will. For the record, I wasn't.

To marry in Canada, you must have two witnesses vouch for you. We were each responsible for ensuring someone joined us at the ceremony for this purpose. I chose Rosalie, a long time friend I went to high school with and continued to attend U of T English classes with. I remember asking her during a boring Chaucer class and I remember how totally cool and romantic she thought the whole plan was. She also thought I was nuts.

When January 15, 1996 arrived, we took the subway to Old City Hall, met up with our two witnesses and waited for our appointment. It was short, but sweet. The Justice of the Peace was great and we had no doubt that we were doing what we wanted to do. Here's a picture taken before the ceremony and one taken during. Following the ceremony we went out for a bite to eat and crashed at Taryn's place where we watched "Melrose Place" before heading for bed. The next day, after all, was another school day.

The next day I told my mom what we had done over a burger and fries at McDonalds and then shared the news with my siblings. A few months later we moved into our own downtown apartment, a couple of years after that we were both wrapping up our diplomas, starting careers and before you knew it we were buying a home and starting a family.

Thank you for being my rock, thank you for being my best friend, thank you for James and Michelle, thank you for ten fantastic years. I love you Taryn.

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Maple Leafs 3, Coyotes 4

Go Leafs Go!With a 3-0 lead in the first, I thought this game was going to be in the bag. I figured we could put it in cruise control and slap the two points on the board. I still can't believe we blew it.

It was the first Saturday night this season we didn't hear Bob Cole and Harry Neale calling the play. Jim Hughson and Greg Millen were at the mic and it took me a while to adapt. I can't remember what it was like before Cole and Neale and not hearing them tricks my brain into thinking it's a day other than Saturday. When the time comes that Cole announces his retirement Hughson is a natural choice to assume Saturday night Leaf duties. We could do far worse.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
51 points
3rd in Northeast
4-3 Loss vs. Phoenix
4-3 Loss vs. Vancouver
3-2 Win vs. Edmonton
B. McCabe - 49
J. Allison - 36
T. Kaberle - 36

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year."
      - Paul Sweeney

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Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

A Movie ReelStar Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith: 8 out of 10.

The saga is indeed complete, and it concludes on a high note. I was really disappointed with "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" and although "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" was better, it wasn't where it should have been. "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith", however, was great. There was non-stop action, a good story and a tonne of answers for us old school Star Wars guys.

It all matches up perfectly. "Star Wars IV: A New Hope" is an ideal follow-up. George Lucas has redeemed himself. I'm going to watch it again!

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumShelley Winters was 85. She was the forceful, outspoken star who graduated from blond bombshell parts to dramas, winning Academy Awards as supporting actress in "The Diary of Anne Frank" and "A Patch of Blue."

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How Did This Happen?

VoteI've spent the past week or so coming to grips with reality. Stephen Harper will soon be my Prime Minister. Join me in my time machine as we revisit an entry I wrote on June 11, 2004.

June 11, 2004 / 19:13 EDT

I fear the Conservative Party will win the election on June 28th and Stephen Harper will be my new Prime Minister.

Harper's Conservative Party is starting to show its stripes. Comments are being made by Conservative Party candidates that suggest they are homophobic and anti-abortion. Anti-abortion is itself a misnomer because nobody is actually pro-abortion, but pro-choice. I believe it's essential that a woman in Canada retain the legal right to abortion. Furthermore, I believe homosexuality is a characteristic one is born with and not a lifestyle or choice. As such, we must protect the rights of homosexuals in much the same manner we must protect the rights of minorities or women.

Harper has vowed to reverse the decision made by Quebec, Ontario and B.C. courts of appeal to give gays and lesbians the right to get married. In the latest remark, Frank Luellau, the Conservative candidate for Kitchener-Conestoga, told The Globe and Mail that homosexuality "is not a natural kind of relationship" and that it is the "constitutional right to freedom of religion and freedom of association" for a religious group to fire or refuse to hire gays and lesbians. Leullau's comments follow those of Cheryl Gallant, the Ottawa-area MP who last week said the Conservative caucus wants to repeal legislation that places sexual orientation in Canada's anti-hate law. Later, she was quoted at an anti-abortion rally equating abortion to the beheading of American contractor Nicholas Berg.

On top of all of this, Harper promises Canada will pull out of the Kyoto Protocol. He claims it's irrelevant and unworkable. Everything I've read about Kyoto suggests it's not only relevant but necessary. Kyoto calls for a 6 percent cut in the emission of greenhouse gases from 1990 levels by 2012. The environment is the lowest of priorities for this party.

This is not a party I could ever support. One of my favourite things about Canada is the fact that we're an open minded progressive nation. I've always considered us to be proactive rather than reactive and our liberalism a trait admired by the free world. I wrote this almost one year ago and it says a lot about what I want my Canada to be. I fear the Conservative Party will win and I see that as one giant step backwards.

For all their faults, the Liberal Party is indeed the best option for Canada. Please put aside your issues with Dalton McGuinty or your anger at the sponsorship scandal and envision a Canada with Harper at the helm. Better yet, look down and check out Dubya. Their politics are eerily similar.

I won't be writing a similar entry this year. I, too, have lost faith in the Liberal Party. I didn't like my options back in April and I don't like them much better now, but the writing's on the wall. My only hope is that we stick with the plan and limit this imminent Conservative victory to a minority government. I no longer fear the Conservative Party will win, I now fear they will win a majority and I'd rather not find out the hard way precisely what that entails.

How did we come to this? How did this happen? It was only one month ago I joked about the gift to the Liberal Party from The Washington Times. "Does the average Canadian want a "pro-free trade, pro-Iraq war, anti-Kyoto, and socially conservative" leader? No. Do we really want our Prime Minister to become "Mr. Bush's new best friend and poster boy for his ideal foreign leader?" Absolutely not."

It seems I was wrong. I mis-read the general will. You're actually going to do this, aren't you?

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Guest Blog Entry

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

There is not 1 election sign ANYWHERE within my community promoting the Federal election. Are people afraid to let others know who they are supporting or don't they give a S#*T. I think the latter. I have not had 1 person come to my door since the election was called promoting their candidate. I know in my riding with 9 days to go there is still a problem getting candidates to run. The best thing that could happen is another minority gov't with another election called within a short time. There is no resonable choice & that's why I will probably vote GREEN - at least they have a candidate in my riding. I still will vote - even though there is NO choice-Martin, Harper, Layton - put them all in a wrestling ring & whoever wins gets to run our country! NO tag teams as in the past.


Where are you that there are no signs or even candidates? I'm certain the three major federal parties have candidates in ever riding. We've got lots of signs around my house, but I've never been a fan of candidate signs. I doubt they persuade anyone and they're an eyesore. You're blessed to be in a sign-less neighbourhood.

FYI: Today is an advance voting day. In the past, I've often voted on the advance days because it's pretty slick and you don't have to worry about ensuring you're in your riding between 08:00 and 20:00 on January 23. If you've already made your decision, exercise your right this afternoon.

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Guest Blog and Contact Forms Successfully Repaired

EmailThe form on my contact page and the Guest Blog form are now fully operational.

Communicate away! I see a Guest Blog ready to rock...

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"Whenever Marge turns on one of her "non-violent" programs, I take a walk. I go to a bar, I pound a few, then I stumble home in the mood for love..."

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayIn Production - In Toronto - This page tells you which movies and series are currently being filmed in Toronto. "Shoot 'Em Up" looks interesting... it stars Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci and Paul Giamatti.

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FYI Re: Guest Blog and Contact Form

EmailIf you tried to contact me today via the form on my contact page or if you wrote a guest blog, I'm afraid I didn't get it. I'm addressing an issue with the script.

In the mean time, you can send either form of communiqué to the email addy you see on this page.

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More Serj, Please

MusicI love music from the band System of a Down. Their tunes are wonderfully heavy but maintain incredible melody. Their lyrics are politically charged and meaningful. Serj Tankian has an exhilerating delivery with many facets, just listen to "Chop Suey" for a sample of what I'm referring to. He's the Chuck D of SOAD, the voice the perfect accompanies Daron Malakian's music. There's no voice like Tankian's in rock right now.

I've noticed an unfortunate trend with System of a Down releases in 2005. Where Tankian was "the voice" on previous releases, Malkian now sings on just about every song and sometimes his voice is more prominent than that of Tankian. Tankian's awesome vocals are getting buried by Malkian's weak and diluted voice. I sing just about as well as Malakian and that's not saying much.

My hope for the future of System of a Down is that they go back to what worked so brilliantly and let Tankian handle the vast majority of vocals while Malakian sticks to song writing and guitar.

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CalendarThis is not a good day for those who suffer from paraskavedekatriaphobia. Even those who merely suffer from triskaidekaphobia are feeling uneasy.

If you suffer from paraskavedekatriaphobia or triskaidekaphobia, don't fret. Tomorrow is another day.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite "Ten" songs

  1. Ten Years Gone - Led Zeppelin
  2. Force Ten - Rush
  3. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out - Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
  4. Ten Percenter - Frank Black
  5. Ten Commandments Of Bart - The Simpsons

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All About Star Wars

Star WarsJames and I have been having some intense discussions lately about Star Wars. Things heated up when he got his own light saber and now that I'm in possession of a DVD copy of "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" we have a white flame.

He has a surprisingly good grasp on the fundamentals and seems sharp in his knowledge of the relationship between Luke, Leia and Darth Vader. What blew his mind was the relationship between Anakin and Darth Vader. I think he gets it now, but there was a clear struggle. Naturally, he asks a million questions and finds the entire galaxy fascinating.

Today he told me he won't have to fight his father like Luke did because his father is good and won't ever turn to the dark side. I asked him if he might end up like Anakin and he assured me that he's be good forever and besides, he doesn't want to wear a mask.

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Pro-User Zealots

VoteMy riding had a candidate meeting last night. Liberal MP Sam Bulte was there and somebody asked her if she was willing to take the copyright pledge. If you read this blog, you've read all about Sam Bulte and her transparent conflict of interest.

Local blogger Accordion Guy also lives in my riding and he took this video of Bulte's response. My favourite part is when Bulte says "People support me because they support my voice for the artist and I will not allow Michael Geist and his pro-user zealot Electronic Frontier Foundation members to intimidate me into silence my voice."

In 2004, Bulte won by less than 3,500 votes over NDP candidate Peggy Nash. There must be at least 3,500 pro-user zealots around here who won't allow Sam Bulte to intimidate them into silencing their voice. They'll be heard from on January 23.

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Canadians Are Known For...

CanadaCheck out The Prejudice Map. It displays what, according to Google, people in the world are known for.

The map tells you Canadians are known for cultural diversity, humility and kindness, liking their beer and being tolerant. Throw in an obsession with hockey and they've pretty much nailed us.

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Dave Andreychuk

NHLDave Andreychuk cleared waivers this afternoon. This most likely marks the end of the road for the 42-year-old.

He broke into the NHL way back in 1982 while playing for the Sabres, but I'll always remember him for his brief stint with the blue and white. He arrived in 1992-93 with Darren Puppa in a trade for Grant Fuhr and immediately gelled with playmaker Doug Gilmour. Finally, there was a pure goal scorer to receive Dougie's sweet passes and light the lamp. In 1993-94, Andreychuk scored 53 goals becoming only the third Leaf to surpass 50 in a single season. He was a massive reason why we reached the final four two years in a row and I was bummed when we traded him to New Jersey in 1996 for a couple of lousy draft picks.

Here's my autographed picture of #14. I gave him a holiday named in his honour in May 2004 and celebrated D. A. Day a couple of weeks later. He gave the NHL 23 great years and he will be missed.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayKeep Conflicts Out of Copyright Policy - You already know how I feel about Sam Bulte. Click this link and voice your support for Michael Geist's "Copyright Pledge" which asks all politicians to swear off money from copyright lobbyists if they're involved in setting copyright policy.

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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.

Death From Above 1979 - Romantic Rights (The Phones Lovers Remix)
The version of "Romantic Rights" that appears on You're A Woman, I'm A Machine was my second favourite song of 2005. Today I'm sharing a great remix of this tune that appears on I'm A Woman, You're A Machine Remixed. This Toronto-based duo is making some killer music.

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Maple Leafs 3, Canucks 4

Go Leafs Go!We outshot the Canucks 38-19 but couldn't salvage another win out west. Here's hoping Bryan McCabe doesn't miss many more games. He's the most difficult player to replace on this team.

Saturday night we're hosting Gretzky's Coyotes and former Leaf Curtis Joseph. We went 1-2 on our west coast swing.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
51 points
3rd in Northeast
4-3 Loss vs. Vancouver
3-2 Win vs. Edmonton
1-0 Loss vs. Calgary
B. McCabe - 49
J. Allison - 35
T. Kaberle - 35

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The Raphael In All Of Us

HockeyA guy known only as Raphael jumped on the ice during a Montreal Canadiens practice and shot a puck at Jose Theodore. He was in full hockey equipment and just wanted to show off his skills by scoring on a great goalie.

This guy is a freakin' hero to thousands of us schlubs who had the heart and determination but lacked the talent to play at an elite level. As a kid I used to dream about playing pro baseball and hockey. Just once I wanted a chance to try and steal a big league base, track a ball down at the warning track, dish off a pretty pass to my winger or take a shot at an NHL goaltender. Who amongst us has the balls to go for it, in spite of obvious talent deficiencies. Who has the courage to lace up the skates, put on the uniform, pull on the helmet, jump the boards and take that shot? Raphael did.

There are those who watch, those who sport a blue tutu, and those who actually take a shot. There's a little Raphael in all of us. I just wish he scored.

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MusicIs there a more dismissive term in the English language than "whatever"? Someone can tell me to f*ck off, go to hell or eat shit and die and I'm cool with it. "Whatever", however, is the lowest of the low.

I've been listening to a song from CDLX called "Whatever" that is the bomb (I know, I'm five years late on that one) and you can hear it right now streaming on this page. In fact, there are a few solid tunes that go by the name "Whatever". Here are good songs called "Whatever" that I frequently enjoy.

  • Whatever - Godsmack
  • Whatever - Butthole Surfers
  • Whatever - Our Lady Peace
  • Whatever - CDLX


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The Debate & The Plan

VoteI watched the debate last night. It's too bad I can't vote for Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe because he seems to be the best of the four. Stephen Harper remains a stiff, unlikeable presence but he didn't drop the ball no matter how often I pricked that voodoo doll. Jack Layton kept repeating the same rehearsed catch-phrases over and over again and Paul Martin held his own but didn't excel when he really needed a KO.

The Toronto Star is frightening Torontonians today with a headline that exclaims the Tories are headed for a majority. I've come to grips with the reality that we're likely headed for a Conservative minority government, but a majority is a completely other matter. A majority for Harper would blow up my 18 month plan for this fine nation. Here's what I prescribe:

  1. On January 23, Canadians vote and a Conservative minority government is formed. The Liberal Party has been in power too long and Canadians want to punish them for recent scandals and send them a message that they don't have a natural right to lead. Paul Martin, Finance Minister for years during Chretien's rule, is too closely associated with an era of corruption. A change of this nature is required to shake things up.
  2. Paul Martin, humbled by defeat, will step aside. A fresh face will rise to assume leadership of the party. Who this person is, I'm not certain, but he or she will be far removed from Adscam.
  3. In the summer of 2007, the Conservative minority government will be defeated and Canadians will return to the polls. This time, with the Liberal Party having learned their lesson and with a new, vibrant leader at the helm, the result will be very different. The fact is that most Canadians disagree with Conservative Party values and want to vote Liberal, and in the summer of 2007 they will once more. Harper's 18 months in office will end and a new Liberal majority government will be formed.

A Conservative majority screws up the whole plan. Danger! Danger!

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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. Dust My Broom - Elmore James
  2. Time Bomb - Rancid
  3. Grandma's Hands - Bill Withers
  4. Boneyard Tree - The Watchmen
  5. Snowsuit Sound - Sloan
  6. Been A Son - Nirvana
  7. America - Simon & Garfunkel
  8. Half - Soundgarden
  9. W Balls - Snoop Doggy Dogg
  10. Long Time Running - The Tragically Hip

On Sunday I'm married ten years. Yep, ten years. I still feel pretty young to be celebrating my tin anniversary, but it's true. Taryn and I were wed on January 15, 1996.

That afternoon, we shot down to Old City Hall in Toronto and got married. We told our loved ones about it after the fact, so for a while we flirted with the idea of having a little get together for close friends and family to help us celebrate our tenth. It's not really our style, so we quickly nixed the idea, but had we gone through with it The Tragically Hip's "Long Time Running" would have been our song.

It's been a long, long, long time running. It's well worth the wait.

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Targeting An Older Crowd

CBCI'm often watching CBC Newsworld at 22:00 EST. That's usually when they air "The Passionate Eye" or "Rough Cuts", two of my favourite documentary series. An overwhelmingly high percentage of the time it's something fantastic.

Taryn and I get a kick out of the advertisements that run during these shows. CBC Newsworld must assume the documentary-watching audience is 55+ because there are lengthy ads for products that are only of interest to the elderly. One popular ad is for a magnifying card that enlarges text for the visually challenged, another is for a stand-up shower for those afraid of falling and another is for a very cool compact electric wheelchair.

The sad thing is I now look forward to these ads. They remind me of "I've fallen and I can't get up" and "It's Patrick, he's bought life insurance." Those two golden oldies never got tired.

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SunIt was pretty warm today for the second week of January in Toronto. The forecast is calling for 3°C tomorrow and Tuesday, 5°C on Wednesday and 7°C on Thursday. Here are my ten favourite songs with "warm" in the title.

  1. Happiness Is A Warm Gun - The Beatles
  2. I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother's Heart - The White Stripes
  3. 2+2=5 (The Lukewarm) - Radiohead
  4. Warm And Sunny Days - The Dears
  5. Warm Love - Van Morrison
  6. Warm It Up - Kris Kross
  7. Warm Machine - Bush
  8. A Warm Place - Nine Inch Nails
  9. The Warmth - Incubus
  10. Warm Ways - Fleetwood Mac

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Twenty Years Ago Tonight

RewindHas it been twenty years already? I have vivid memories of watching the Maple Leafs-Oilers game that took place on January 8th, 1986. The reason I remember the game so well is because of what transpired that night when my lowly Leafs met the best team in the league at Maple Leaf Gardens.

It was a shootout at the OK Corral. The high scoring Edmonton Oilers scored 9 goals against us, including three from The Great Wayne Gretzky, but we didn't lose that night. In fact, we won by a couple as Miroslav Frycer scored four of our 11 goals. The combined total of 20 goals in a game for two teams was the second-highest in NHL history and I distinctly remember the commentator rooting for another goal so the record could be matched.

It wasn't often we beat the mighty Oilers back then and it was thrilling for this twelve year old to watch our boys in blue beat 'em 11-9. It was probably the most exciting game I'd ever witnessed until this one which closed out the decade.

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Ocean's Twelve

A Movie ReelOcean's Twelve: 4.5 out of 10.

My favourite part of this movie came near the end when I heard the voice of Ed Bloom. That tells you something.

I hated the premise of this movie. Andy Garcia's character demands Ocean's gang return the money they stole from his casino plus interest. Ocean's gang, like a bunch of spineless sucks, immediately cave and agree to hand over almost 200 million buckeroos. C'mon, if Ocean's gang was as cool and skilled as we were led to believe, they'd find a way to avoid bending over for Garcia on demand.

If you like looking at pretty people and prefer style over substance, "Ocean's Twelve" is for you.

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Maple Leafs 3, Oilers 2

Go Leafs Go!The Leafs have started another winning streak with a sweet victory in Edmonton. Mikael Tellqvist was sensational making 36 saves and Bryan McCabe added two assists to push his team-leading points total to 49.

Ed Belfour is still a pretty darn good goalie, but he's 41 in April. I'm starting to believe Tellqvist is capable of assuming full-time duties when Belfour retires. Perhaps Tellqvist is the bridge between Belfour and Justin Pogge? Lets just hope Belfour has one more solid playoffs in him as we try to end a drought that is approaching 39 years.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
51 points
3rd in Northeast
3-2 Win vs. Edmonton
1-0 Loss vs. Calgary
3-2 Win vs. Pittsburgh
B. McCabe - 49
J. Allison - 34
T. Kaberle - 34

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."
      - George Dubya Bush

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Behind the Scenes of an Episode

HomerYou learn a great deal about what goes on behind the scenes at "The Simpsons" by listening to the commentaries on the DVDs. When I get a season of "The Simpsons" on DVD, the first thing I do is watch each episode once with the commentary on, which irks James but pleases his father. There's a great deal of insight into how a concept evolves into an episode and I find it fascinating.

I just read an article by Mark I. Pinsky entitled ""The Simpsons": Behind the scenes of an episode" which fellow Simpson fans will want to read as well. Lots of neat tidbits and even some jokes from a future episode.

The table reads sound amazing.

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Love In the Time of Money

A Movie ReelLove In the Time of Money: 6 out of 10.

I was attracted to this movie because of its cast. Steve Buscemi, Jill Hennessy, Michael Imperioli and Rosario Dawson star in this simple little movie about a series of entanglements in New York that connect.

It wasn't bad, relying on dialogue to tell sexy tales without the sex, but it wasn't great. Still, it's worth it for Hennessy and Dawson, if ya know what I mean.

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Copyright Infringement?

CanadaNorfolk Island is an island in the Pacific Ocean between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia. Take a peek at their official flag.

Does it remind you of anything?

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Guest Blog Entry

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

A Big Bag of Pot-Pourri

1) Is it time to start watching the Raptors again? I have thoroughly enjoyed the last couple of games and we are developing a 1-2 Punch with Bosh and James that has me thinking - read a bedtime story to my son or watch the Raptors Game? Sorry Zander.

2) Thanks to 2005 for:

  • Green Day (no need to elaborate)
  • Coldplay's "Fix You" (I love how the song seems to take you on a journey, changing tempo at just the right time)
  • Bringing back my Blue and White and NHL (although I hate the shoot-out)- What a future there is for The NHL - Crosby, Ovechkin, Phaneuf....
  • "My Name is Earl" (my favorite new show of 2005, very endearing and funny) - Weeds and The Simspons must be recognized as well

3) I was sick to my stomach while reading the posts being left in response to the "FOOTLOCKER SHOOTINGS". I'm glad you post everything Mike, because it reminds me of the fact that we are surrounded by people like Jaydee and Mona. Ignorance breeds ignorance, and If I keep my eyes open and remember these people are out there, I may be able to keep my 18 month old away from them and their demented thoughts.

4) Let me finish by saying that I feel there is nowhere to turn. No where to run. I will be voting Liberal. But it is becoming increasingly clear that I am attempting to keep the crazed rapists and murderers from coming in the front door, while settling for the lesser of two evils; the thieving, lying criminals who have already made their way into my home, and won't get off my couch and leave me alone. We are screwed!!

Thanks for your time!


1. I'm totally shocked that our Raptors have now won five in a row. I was sure they'd finish this season worse than 21-61, our franchise low. Don't look now, but we're 2.5 games out of a playoff spot. It's time to start watching the young and exciting Raptors again.

2. I enjoy "The Office", so one day I decided to give the lead-in show "My Name Is Earl" a shot after hearing good things. I hated it.

3. When I launched the Guest Blog feature in November 2003 I decided I'd post everything. I copy and paste the entry with no edits and throw my two cents in beneath the block of blue. There have been some entries I've seriously objected to, but Mona's and Jaydee's were the most disturbing. This is 2006 people, it's time to get a clue.

4. I'm predicting a Conservative minority government will be formed later this month. The GTA, a massive chunk of this country that the Liberal party has to dominate in order to keep power, has had enough. It won't be the end of the world. Their power will be limited and their effect on our socially liberal values will be inconsequential. Hopefully, a fresh new face in the Liberal Party without such ties to previous corrupt regimes will rise to the forefront, supplant Martin as leader and send Harper back to opposition status. Canada will persevere.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayGame Console Controller Family Tree - My all-time favourite remains this one.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

The emotion the Cdn.Jr. team displayed when they won the GOLD medal was awesome. ALL were singing O'Canada. I stand corrected - their focus was on this 1 & only game. That's the way is should be. Focus to the task at hand.

My apologies, I stand on guard for them.

      A PROUD Canadian

Apology accepted.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumBarry Cowsill was 50. He achieved teen idol status in the late 1960s as a member of the Partridge Family-inspiring pop act the Cowsills.

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Maple Leafs 0, Flames 1

Go Leafs Go!Miikka Kiprusoff took care of our winning streak stoning us on a number of good third period opportunities to record his sixth shutout of the season. This was only the second time we've been shutout this season.

It's Hockey Day In Canada with Ottawa and Montreal going at it at 14:00 EST, the Leafs and Edmonton at 19:00 EST and Calgary and Vancouver dropping the puck at 22:00 EST. Coverage begins at noon on CBC.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
49 points
3rd in Northeast
1-0 Loss vs. Calgary
3-2 Win vs. Pittsburgh
6-3 Win vs. New Jersey
B. McCabe - 47
J. Allison - 34
T. Kaberle - 33

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"I am so smart, I am so smart, S M R T, I mean S M A R T."

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite Matthew Broderick movies

  1. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  2. You Can Count on Me
  3. The Cable Guy
  4. Election
  5. Glory

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumLou Rawls was 72. He was the velvet-voiced singer who started as a church choir boy and went on to record such classic tunes as "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine."

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Canada 5, Russia 0

Canada HockeyI have seen the future of Toronto Maple Leafs hockey, and his name is Justin Pogge. Pogge posted a .952 save percentage for the tournament, his 1.00 goals-against average ties him for best in tournament history and Canada's six goals against set a record. He recorded three shutouts and went 150 minutes and 50 seconds without giving up a goal to close out last night's game.

Canada has won its first back-to-back world junior titles since 1996 and 1997. Head coach Brent Sutter is now 12-0 in his two years at the helm of the national team, making him the winningest Canadian coach in the history of this tournament. It was an easy win, much like last year.


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Some Early Submissions For SLS15

SLSIt's very early, but already I've nominated a number of great songs for inclusion on SLS15. SLS15 won't be finalized until late June, but here are my early submissions.

  • Use It - The New Pornographers
  • I'll Believe In Anything - Wolf Parade
  • 7-4 Shoreline - Broken Social Scene
  • The Bridge - Elliott Brood
  • Out Of Exile - Audioslave

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Thank You, Degrassi

SunI have vivid memories of a class trip to the Runnymede Public Library I took in 1983. We were assembled in a room on the second floor and shown a program on video cassette. The show we watched was "The Kids of Degrassi Street".

I would soon discover other episodes of this television show and watched with great interest "Degrassi Junior High" when it debuted on CBC in 1987. It was appointment viewing for me and I watched every single week. Although "Degrassi Junior High" eventually became "Degrassi High", I never missed an episode during its five year run.

Following the series, there was a fantastic little tv movie about the gang's last summer together called "School's Out". I actually watched this movie earlier in the week on Showcase which got me thinking about Degrassi again. I remember enjoying a nice convo with Pat Mastroianni when I was working at the CNE, I remember bumping into Stefan Brogren at a Raptors game and I remember when one of the cast members' band played our high school talent night. The twins came along to cheer him on.

There is now "Degrassi: The Next Generation" for this new generation, and although I don't watch religiously, every time I catch an episode I enjoy it. Joey is still there, Snake is still there, Spike is still there and sometimes Caitlin and others are their too. It's as if Degrassi never really went away and I like that.

Thanks again, Degrassi, for all the memories.

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Million Dollar Baby

A Movie ReelMillion Dollar Baby: 8 out of 10.

Clint Eastwood is getting better with age. Great direction, great acting and great casting. Hilary Swank is a great Maggie and nobody handles the narrator-type role like the great Morgan Freeman.

Needless to say I had very high expectations for this film. It won four Oscars, including Best Picture. I wasn't disappointed, it's a great flick.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumIrving Layton was 93. His gritty, satiric and erotic poems left an indelible mark on Canada's literary landscape.

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What The Sam Bulte?

VoteThe Liberal MP in my riding is Sarmite Bulte. I've written about this so called democracy and the conflict I share with many Canadians. We're less than three weeks from election day and I'm as torn as ever.

Each and every election, either federal or provincial, Taryn blindly votes Liberal. Sarmite Bulte could be Idi Amin and my dear wife would vote for her. Taryn and I share socially liberal views and our united distrust and distate for the Conservative Party of Canada means we share a great deal of political ideology. I, however, refuse to blindly vote for an MP simply because they represent the Liberal Party of Canada.

Despite everything in the Gomery Commission, Sam Bulte was probably going to secure my vote until I read this. Here's a brief description of the story.

TORONTO -- U.S. studios and music labels were drawn into the Canadian federal election fray Tuesday after coming under fire for a planned Jan. 19 fundraiser for a key Liberal member of Parliament. The controversy follows Sarmite Bulte, a federal M.P. and parliamentary secretary for Canadian Heritage who has backed U.S.-style copyright laws, issuing an invitation for a CAN$250-a-plate fundraiser hosted by the Canadian Recording Industry Assn. and the Canadian Motion Pictures Distributors Assn. The event was scheduled to take place four days before Canadians vote for a new federal government on Jan. 23. The CMPD, the CRIA and other copyright holders have long pushed Canada to tighten lax laws against copyright piracy. A copyright reform bill that Bulte helped write recently died when the ruling Liberal Party dissolved Parliament and called a national election for Jan. 23.

Reading that piece struck a serious nerve with me and got me hunting for more. That's when I found this excellent write-up from Michael Geist. Here's a brief excerpt from this entry.

In May 2004, the Canadian Heritage Standing Committee released what is now widely described as the "Bulte Report", a remarkably one-sided report on the future of Canadian copyright. The report addressed WIPO, ISP, and education issues, siding in every instance with the views of rights holders such as the Canadian Recording Industry Association...

Fast forward to the current election campaign and it is clear that Ms. Bulte remains closely aligned with those same rights holder organizations. Her website lists a number of campaign events, the most interesting of which is a $250.00 per person fundraiser on January 19th featuring Cowboy Junkies singer (and CRIA President Graham Henderson partner) Margo Timmins...

Within the boundaries of the Election Act, MPs are of course free to fundraise any way they like and individual Canadians are free to contribute to those same MPs. However, with the public's cynicism about elected officials at an all-time high and Canadians increasingly frustrated by a copyright policy process that is seemingly solely about satisfying rights holder demands, is it possible to send a worse signal about the impartiality of the copyright reform process? At $250.00 a person, I have my doubts that many of the artists that Ms. Bulte claims to represent will be present. Instead, it will lobbyists and lobby groups, eagerly handing over their money with the expectation that the real value of the evening will come long after Margo Timmins has finished her set.

Bulte is clearly owned by US copyright industries and will serve her masters with extreme copyright laws. This is all unfolding in plain view, it's astounding how blatant she is. Canadian copyright laws in this digital age are far too near and dear to my heart for me to cast my one and only vote for someone so clearly bought by freedom-suppressing conglomerates.

Hello Peggy Nash, I believe it's time for change.

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Best Blonde Joke Ever

HumourI rarely link to jokes, but this is a pretty damn good one.

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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.

Wolf Parade - I'll Believe In Anything
This is my favourite song on an album I keep going back to. You're welcome.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayFree CD Cover Search - In the late 90s, there was a great CD covers resource I used to hit all the time. Copyright laws forced it to shut down at the turn of the century and nothing as good ever crossed my path again... until now.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Watching the Canada Jr's play against Finland & winning was a great accomplishment going to the GOLD medal game for the 6th year in a row.

I'm DISGUSTED with the players at the end of the game. I did not see ONE player singing OUR national anthem as it was played at the game's conclusion. They played an awesome game & where are their hearts. The game was played in Canada & NO dedication to the COUNTRY we live in. Go for Silver. Go USA or Russia. Our kids don't deserve the gold

      A PROUD Canadian

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm not about to cheer on Russia because our boys didn't sing O Canada following the 4-0 win against Finland.

I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt. I'd hate to paint them all as pride-less Canadians based solely on this. Go Canada Go!

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Canada 4, Finland 0

Canada HockeyFor the fifth straight year, Canada has advanced to the finals at the world junior hockey championship. Once again, our foe is Russia who we face Thursday at 19:00 EST for gold.

This year's squad plays a typically hard defensive game and relies on Leaf prospect Justin Pogge between the pipes. As Canadian teams go, this one is particularly offensively challenged. Late in the second and only up 1-0, I feared an upset. Still, against all odds, we're once again playing for all the marbles. The intangible Canadian spirit can never be overestimated!

Pog-ge! Pog-ge! Pog-ge! Pog-ge!

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How I Spent My Christmas Vacation

HockeyI watched a lot of hockey. I cheered a great deal and was always pleased with the end result. Here's the details...

Tonight it's Canada vs. Finland in semi-final action. Going for 11 in a row...

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Maple Leafs 3, Penguins 2

Go Leafs Go!The Leafs spoiled Sidney Crosby's NHL debut in Canada by winning their sixth in a row. Chad Kilger was the unlikely offensive hero with two goals early in the third before Bryan McCabe won it in overtime with a lucky goal that seemed to bounce off his chest.

The Maple Leafs are on their longest winning streak since an eight-game run from November 22 - December 6, 2003, and have won seven of eight since an 8-2 loss to Ottawa on December 17, 2005.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
49 points
3rd in Northeast
3-2 Win vs. Pittsburgh
6-3 Win vs. New Jersey
4-3 Win vs. Buffalo
B. McCabe - 47
J. Allison - 34
T. Kaberle - 33

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The Cover For SLS14

SLSWe've finally unveiled the cover for SLS14. SLS14, of course, was unveiled over a week ago.

In addition to maintaining the official Smells Like Sour home page, I also keep a list of every SLS song ever as part of this site. Submissions for SLS15 are now being accepted. There are already several nominations.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Here is a link that some might find interesting:

Towards a Fact-Based Strategy to Reduce Gun Violence in Toronto (.pdf) or (Google .html cache)


I'm intrigued by the Boston Gun Project: Operation Ceasefire. It was a highly coordinated project which included: 1) assembling an interagency working group of largely line-level criminal justice and other practitioners; 2) applying quantitative and qualitative research techniques to create an assessment of the nature of, and dynamics driving, youth violence in Boston; 3) developing an intervention designed to have a substantial, near-term impact on youth homicide: 4) implementing and adapting the intervention; and 5) evaluating the intervention's impact.

It's time for The Toronto Gun Project: Operation Trend Upsetter.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Spending the last 4 days north west of Sudbury, the local newspapers (front page) & local news lead story was about Jane Creba & how Toronto has become a city with VERY LITTLE HOPE unless something is done now. Listening to local newscasts up north Toronto's tourism industry this summer will suffer greatly as people will travel elsewhere. Toronto - The murder capital of Canada. It seems to be getting that way. Gun laws MUST be changed & enforced to their fullest. This is one the reasons we moved 6 years ago. Todd Baylis was killed within walking distance of my former home & with 2 young kids at the time we decided to move on. Local, provincial & federal gov't (people with #@&&s) MUST act now. I will not get into racial profiling at this point - is there a link?

      twins from bolton

According to the Toronto Wikipedia page, our 2005 murder rate was 3.1 per 100,000. As recently as 1999 it was only 1.3 homicides per 100,000 people. By comparison, Houston had 13.4, Chicago had 15.65 and Washington, DC had 35.7 in 2004 while Manitoba had 4.27 murders per 100,000 people and Saskatchewan had 3.92.

3.1 murders per 100,000 people is still way too high for Toronto the Good. I'm not interested in racial profiling either, but I'm certain there's a link between gun violence and gangs. It's time we examine the reasons kids join gangs and realize there's work to be done in our communities to give our youth an alternative.

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My Music

MusicUsing statistics gathered from my Last.fm page I've created a new My Music page The URI is https://www.torontomike.com/music.html.

Right now it's simply displaying my weekly artist chart and my overall artist chart. Once my creative juices start flowing, I'll add more exciting features aimed right at my target audience: myself.

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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. Baby Won't You Please Come Home - Bessie Smith
  2. Star Bodies - The New Pornographers
  3. Box of Rain - Grateful Dead
  4. Another Woman - Moby
  5. Sons of 3rd Bass - 3rd Bass
  6. Getting Off - Korn
  7. Shitlist - L7
  8. Mephisto and Kevin - Primus
  9. Alan Parsons in a Winter Wonderland - Grandaddy
  10. D.R.E.A.M. - Transplants

Is there something wrong with me for not getting the Grateful Dead? They're so honoured and beloved yet I really only know them for their "Touch Of Grey" video which got quite a bit of airplay on MuchMusic in the late 80s. Oh yeah, I know "Truckin'" too, but that's it. I even own The Very Best of the Grateful Dead but for all the wrong reasons. I don't own it because I enjoy their music or seek to hear Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and the gang. I own it because I feel I should own it and because I fear I'm missing something obvious.

People who love the Grateful Dead really love them. I suppose there is no middle ground with these guys. You're either a Dead-Head, or you're not. There are no casual fans.

I must be missing something...

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumPasquale Carpino was 69. He was the Singing Chef in his double-breasted, bright blue smock who starred in Italian cooking shows.

While working at the CNE and walking through the Food Building during a lunch break in 1990, I saw Pasquale signing autographs. I had never heard of him before but I decided to line up and meet him anyways because he was attracting a large crowd and appeared to be someone famous. I remember him asking me who I wanted him to sign the 8x10 picture of him to and his surprise at my answer.... Mike.

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Jane Creba

BereavementI'm still getting a number of visits from people searching for information about Jane Creba, the 15-year old victim of the Boxing Day shooting in downtown Toronto. I just permanently archived all of December's entries, so here are the ones relating to Jane and the violent tragedy that took her young life.

I don't want this swept under the rug as last week's hot topic. I think it's important that this dialogue continue. Share your thoughts in this simple form and I'll copy and paste your submission verbatim.

52 victims of gunfire on our streets in 2005 constitutes a problem. Constructive expression is the first step towards a solution. Write, Toronto?

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The Devil's Plaything

ConstructionSome say an idle mind is the devil's plaything. I believe it's more correct to say boredom is the devil's plaything. I woke up this morning, took a look at the layout for this site and was bored.

It's a fresh year and I'm thinking about a fresh presentation. I made a few minor tweaks today to get me over the hump and I'll be thinking about a more radical makeover over the coming weeks. I've only tested today's changes in Firefox 1.5 and IE6, so please let me know if things look hairy. You might want to reload the page <F5> first, to ensure you're reading the new style sheet.

As always, all code is valid XHTML 1.0 Strict and valid CSS and thrown together by hand in a simple text editor. Some things haven't changed.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumPatrick Cranshaw was 86. He was a veteran character actor who achieved cult-like status as fraternity brother "Blue" in "Old School".

I'll always remember him as the hobo in "Pee-wee's Big Adventure".

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Maple Leafs 6, Devils 3

Go Leafs Go!Guess who's won five in a row? Four unanswered second period goals did the trick and John Pohl scored his first NHL goal in the third for good measure.

We finally have a legitimate lead over Montreal in the Northeast. Although the Habs still have two games in hand, we've extended our point lead to five. That puts us sixth in the conference, only two points behind the Rangers for fifth. Since the Leafs beat Boston on December 23, the Leafs and Canadian juniors have combined to go 9-0. No wonder I've been in such a good mood lately.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
47 points
3rd in Northeast
6-3 Win vs. New Jersey
4-3 Win vs. Buffalo
3-2 Win vs. Pittsburgh
B. McCabe - 46
J. Allison - 34
T. Kaberle - 32

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Canada 3, United States 2

Canada HockeyWe've once again earned a bye to the semifinal game Tuesday night by finishing first in Group A. A big win over the USA was sealed when captain Kyle Chipchura scored an empty-net winner with 33 seconds remaining. Our junior team has won its last ten games.

I've witnessed nothing but victories for my teams during this Christmas break. I've watched two teams with a strong rooting interest and have yet to see either of them lose. It's a good time to be a fan of Team Canada and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"The Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury its own dead. The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time. All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months!"
      - Edward Payson Powell

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