August 2010 Archives

« July 2010 September 2010 »

This Entry Is For My Kids

moviesMy kids wanted to watch the 1973 Robin Hood cartoon from Disney. I remember seeing it in the mid-80s at the old Westwood theatre. That theatre, sort of tucked away near Kipling and Dundas, still stands, despite being closed down over a decade ago.

Luckily for my kids, the old Robin Hood cartoon is on YouTube. The purpose of this entry is to put all 10 parts in a row so it's easier for them to watch. Enjoy, kids.

Discuss "This Entry Is For My Kids" (3 comments so far)

I Just Have One Question...

calendarI just have one question...

What the hell happened to August?

Discuss "I Just Have One Question..." (1 comment so far)

I Love You, Man Review

Movie ReviewI Love You, Man: 6.5 out of 10.

I didn't like I Love You, Man as much as you did. Sure, it was cute... and parts of it were actually funny, but as a whole it missed the mark.

Firstly, I don't believe Paul Rudd can carry a film like this. Calm down... I like Paul Rudd, too... but as a supporting player. He can't be the guy.

And what's with the iPhone and iTunes infomercials? I guess that's part of movies now, but even the Rush stuff seemed rather forced, and I like Rush. This movie could have been called I Love You, Rush.

And finally, was Lou Ferrigno this movie's response to The Hangover's Mike Tyson? Just wondering.


Discuss "I Love You, Man Review" (4 comments so far)

Want a Taste of HTML5?

mouseIf you've got Google Chrome, you can get a pretty cool taste of HTML5 right now thanks to a cool partnership between Arcade Fire and Google.

Google took Arcade Fire's "We Used To Wait" and let director Chris Milk do this thing, and by harnessing the power of HTML5 they've created a wicked little experience they call The Wilderness Downtown.

Make sure you enter the address of the home you grew up in when prompted. It really makes this video.

Discuss "Want a Taste of HTML5?" (4 comments so far)

Do You Shower Radio?

showerFor all of my adult life, I've showered with the radio on. When I moved out at the age of 21, one of the first things I bought was a shower radio. I think I'm on my third shower radio, pretty good for a 15-year stretch.

The picture below was taken earlier today and is my current shower radio. It hangs from the shower nozzle and seems to go a couple of years on two AA Duracell batteries. I can't shower without it.

Do you listen to the radio when you shower?

Shower radio

Discuss "Do You Shower Radio?" (18 comments so far)

5 Funny People I Follow on Twitter

funny people on twitterI follow 227 people on Twitter. That number fluctuates as I experiment with finding the ideal balance. Some people I follow because I know them in the real world, some people I follow because they're subject matter experts in subjects I care about, some people I follow because they're like-minded and some people I follow because they're funny.

Here are five funny people I follow on Twitter. You might want to give them a shot.


@SarahKSilverman is Sarah Silverman

Most recent tweet:



@alyankovic is Weird Al Yankovic

Most recent tweet:

Trying to decide on the next family pet... cockapoo or sharktopus?


@StephenAtHome is Stephen Colbert

Most recent tweet:

See you at the emmys this weekend! To help you recognize me, i'll be the one holding an emmy.


@ConanOBrien is Conan O'Brien

Most recent tweet:

I may be jumping into this whole Muslim controversy a little late, but really? He's going to call himself Kareem Abdul Jabbar?


@downgoesbrown is Down Goes Brown

Most recent tweet:

This Strasburg news is God's little reminder of what would have happened if the Leafs had drafted Seguin.

That last guy is the only person on this list I've actually met in the real world (seeing Conan live isn't meeting him) and he might be the funniest of the bunch.

Discuss "5 Funny People I Follow on Twitter" (0 comments so far)

Catching The Stills at The Distillery District for CT 200h

MusicI caught The Stills tonight at the Boiler House at The Distillery District. We're talking VIP front-of-the-stage stuff, as well as cocktails and grub and the whole nine yards during a beautiful night in the city.

It was a super fun night and I've got to thank the gang at Lexus for inviting me. The party was to celebrate the world debut of the Lexus CT 200h, a sweet looking ride I can't afford to buy.

Remember when new cars had names like Mustang, Charger or Bonneville? Now they get names like CT 200h. Did we run out of names or did we just get lazy?


Discuss "Catching The Stills at The Distillery District for CT 200h" (4 comments so far)

I Have Nothing To Say (But Maybe You Do?)

pad and penDog days of summer and all, I've got nothing to say.

Consider this an open thread. What's on your mind? What do you want to talk about?

Discuss "I Have Nothing To Say (But Maybe You Do?)" (43 comments so far)

Dumb Shit We Do As Teenagers (or How I Saved Stuffed Animals on Black Monday)

Tales From The ExIf you've been reading this blog the past week, you know I've been sharing old tales from my three years working a game booth at the CNE. This story is about the dumb shit you do as a teenager when you think you're fearless and feel invincible.

We called it Black Monday. Labour Day Monday was always the last and busiest day of the CNE. It was also well known as a day when crowds of youth would come to the midway and cause mischief.

In order to attract people to our game booth, the largest stuffed animals were hung around the booth as bait. They were hung from the rafters with S-hooks and string. That's it. On Black Monday, the game booth manager could expect the attempted thievery of a prize or two or three. In 1991, I was the game booth manager for Pop-a-Ball.


I can't remember what the wholesale cost of the jumbo prizes was but I think they were about $25 each. For whatever reason, we managers believed we had to protect these things with our lives. On Black Monday, the volume of business was staggering but I was obsessed with keeping my eyes on the prizes. No punk kid was going to snatch one of my giant pandas or pink elephants... not on my watch.

I remember one especially manic sequence in particular. One group of teens ripped down a prize on one end of the booth while another group grabbed a stuffed animal on the other end. Both parties began walking away in an attempt to blend into the thick crowd. I had to be a cowboy. I didn't even hesitate to think about whether these petty thugs were carrying knives or worse, I just knew they had property that I was to protect. I jumped into the crowd and snatched back the first prize, threw it in the booth and made a bee-line to the second. Again, I think I startled the guy making off with the loot because I came upon him out of no where and ripped the animal out of his hands. With both prizes back in the booth and with my blood curdling with adrenaline, I jumped back in and prepared for retribution. None came and I had saved Ardo some cash. More importantly, I protected my territory and won another battle for the good guys.

Today, I wouldn't risk a beating or my life for the sake of a couple of prizes, but teenagers seldom use such logic to their advantage. I was young, dumb and in charge that Black Monday. I haven't felt as powerful since.

Discuss "Dumb Shit We Do As Teenagers (or How I Saved Stuffed Animals on Black Monday)" (7 comments so far)

Jason Barr Fired from Edge 102

radioEdge 102 (or CFNY if you're an old guy like me) has removed all traces of Jason Barr from their website.

If you visit his bio page or his blog, you'll find this:


Also, The Dean Blundell Show is now being promoted as a duo: Dean Blundell and Todd Shapiro. Jason Barr isn't part of the team, despite being a holdover from the Humble and Fred show (Danger Boy, anyone?) and a founding member of DBS on Edge 102.


I liked Jason, not just because he was a holdover from my Humble and Fred Show, but because he hooked me up with CASBY and Edgefest tickets. I honestly don't know if he was fired, but it wouldn't surprise me. You can visit my Edge 102 ~ CFNY category page to relive the rapid decline of this once stellar station.

Jason, I hope you've landed on your feet. Let us know how you're doing when you get a chance. An uninterrupted decade doing mornings in Toronto is no small feat.

Update: I've confirmed it with a credible source. Jason Barr was indeed let go by Corus earlier today.

Discuss "Jason Barr Fired from Edge 102" (328 comments so far)

This Jays Fan Wants Jose Bautista To Slow the F**k Down

Blue JaysI love my Blue Jays, but Jose Bautista needs to slow the f**k down.

Last night, Jose Bautista became the first player to reach 40 home runs this season. That puts him on pace for 52 home runs, five more than George Bell hit in 1987. That means that odds are pretty damn good Bautista will push Bell out of the Blue Jays record books this September.

Every year I secretly root against Blue Jays sluggers who approach #47. I did it with Jose Canseco, I did it with Carlos Delgado, and I'm now doing it with Jose Bautista. I grew up idolizing George Bell, and I like him owning that record. I'd like him to keep it as long as possible.

Join me, will you, as we collectively root against Jose Bautista's power in an effort to preserve George Bell's claim to the Jays' single-season home run throne. It's the right thing to do.

George Bell

Other awesome George Bell entries:

Discuss "This Jays Fan Wants Jose Bautista To Slow the F**k Down" (8 comments so far)

Worst. Birthday. Ever.

birthdayThis ain't funny, so don't ya dare laugh.

Don't even chuckle....

Discuss "Worst. Birthday. Ever." (8 comments so far)

Ducks Wear Dog Masks? Mind = Blown

ducksI just realized that all ducks are actually wearing dog masks.



Discuss "Ducks Wear Dog Masks? Mind = Blown" (5 comments so far)

CNE Concerts: From Motorhead to Alice Cooper

Tales From The ExYou know what I miss about working the CNE? The concerts at the old CNE Grandstand or Exhibition Stadium.

Working at the CNE you could always expect a concert crowd before and after that night's show at Exhibition Stadium. The concert ticket got you into the Ex for free so concert goers would often arrive early to play games on the midway and would do the same on their way out.

These concerts produced much of the clientele for the evening. The sort of crowd we got depended upon the style of music being performed that night. When Motorhead and other metal acts played, it was a typical head banger crowd with lots of leather and those classic rock tee shirts with the white sleeves and black chest. When the Cure played it was a sea of black. A band like YES (or Emerson, Lake and Palmer as the case may be) brought out the middle aged crowd. For the record, the big spenders were the Rolling Stones fans there to catch the Steel Wheels tour. There were many, they were a variety of ages and they seemed to always have a lot of cash.

There was a spot I would visit when acts I liked were performing where I could comfortably chill and hear the concert. I couldn't see the stage, but I was close enough that it sounded great. I have fond memories of taking a couple of hours off on a busy night to hear the entire Alice Cooper set. I wasn't quite eighteen but I liked it.

Discuss "CNE Concerts: From Motorhead to Alice Cooper" (0 comments so far)

Ceelo's Fuck You a Keeper

swearsCeelo's new single is a catchy mofo that's sure to have legs, but you won't hear it on the radio.

I dig it.

Discuss "Ceelo's Fuck You a Keeper" (4 comments so far)

This is 1984: Declare the Year in Your Lyrics

MusicWhen talking about Martha and the Muffins, we usually start with "Echo Beach". "Echo Beach" was a major Cancon hit in 1980 and Martha and the Muffins' definitive single. "Echo Beach" actually cracked the top 10 in the UK, making it an international success.

In 1984, I remember well the video for Martha and the Muffins' "Black Stations/White Stations". 16 26 years later, I'm grateful they took some of the guesswork out of the "when was that song released?" game by slapping the year of release in the lyrics.

Black faces white faces, break down the door, stand up and face the music, this is 1984.

Declare the year of release in your lyrics, songwriters! Here's that video from 1984.

Can anyone name another song that tells you what year it is in the lyrics? I'm not referring to a song like "Summer of '69" which was released in the 80s, but a song that comes out and says "this is 1984" when it is in fact 1984.

Update: Now that I think of it, this is rather popular with rap songs. I've got Public Enemy, NWA and a whole bunch of artists rapping about what year it is. Let's take rap out of this little contest and see if we can name non-rap songs that reference the year of release.

Discuss "This is 1984: Declare the Year in Your Lyrics" (13 comments so far)

Our Cliff Johnson Passed by Our Matt Stairs

baseballOn June 13, 1986, the Jays lost to the Tigers 10-5 at Exhibition Stadium. This game was note-worthy for two reasons. Cannon-armed Jesse Barfield threw out Dwight Lowry at home plate which was my favourite mid-80s Jays play and Cliff Johnson pinch-hit for Rick Leach and went deep.

Cliff friggin' Johnson. I loved that guy. He always had the perfect scowl, seemed perfectly old school and just a little pissed off. I remember he left and came back, and on this night, he hit his 20th career home run as a pinch-hitter. That was a major league record.

Cliff Johnson held that record for 24 years. That's a long time. Yesterday, former Jay Matt Stairs, who's also a good Canadian boy, hit his 21st homer as a pinch-hitter to break Cliffy's record.

I'm happy for Stairs, who I always liked, but I must admit I always liked Cliff Johnson owning that record.


Discuss "Our Cliff Johnson Passed by Our Matt Stairs" (1 comment so far)

Fear the Ardo

Tales From The ExAre you going to the Canadian National Exhibition today? I'm not, but I do have a CNE story to share.

We called him Ardo and we feared him. Ardo was my boss when I worked a game booth at the Ex from '89-'91 and his persona was thug-like, a tough dude you didn't want to mess with. He did his best never to let you catch him smiling. With every snarl and command his legend grew.

The typical game booth attendant working one of his several games was either a teenager or in his or her very early 20s. To keep us working hard and in line, Ardo decided very early on that presenting himself in such an intimidating fashion was his best bet. He was right. Your biggest fear was getting an earful from Ardo or having someone escalate an issue or incident to him. People told tales of what Ardo once did to this guy or that guy. Fear was his motivational tool of choice.

This worked the first year I worked for Ardo, but at some point during my second year Ardo let his guard down. I was permitted to see him in a more relaxed state and he even began laughing in my presence. For Ardo, it was all about trust. Until he trusted you, he played the tough guy as well as any cast member on The Sopranos. Once you earned his trust, you could clearly see he was indeed a softy underneath it all. Ardo's bark, in all it's tenacity, was far worse than his bite. I'm pretty darn certain he's there right now glaring at his new game booth attendants while his legend permeates the midway.

In a previous CNE story, a girl who worked for me at Pop-a-Ball chimed in with a comment. Betty wrote the following:

I love reading your CNE stories every year. I worked with you at Pop-A-Ball and went to highschool with Ms. BlondAmbition (she got me the job). I also worked at the gambling booth right next door. HATED working the microphone!! I used to see Ardo for many years after that setting up every year. I remember him always threatening us about handling his cash, but his nephews (or maybe they were cousins) would steal from him right under his nose at the gambling booths.

The legend of Ardo grows...

Discuss "Fear the Ardo" (3 comments so far)

Slo-Pitch Tournament Time

baseballI play for a slo-pitch team in the comp division of the RSPA. As part of the deal when you play in the RSPA, you have to enter at least one tournament. This weekend, we'll be paying our dues and competing in the creatively titled RSPA 2010 Summer Slo-Pitch Tournament.

Game one is tomorrow morning then we play all day Saturday, and if we're any good, we'll get to play a bunch on Sunday, too. This is an SPN sanctioned event, which means it's not the 7 and 3 co-ed split we usually play with. SPN rules are 6 and 4, which threw us for a loop. Most of today was spent searching for female ball players willing to spend their weekend with me. Surprisingly, the pool is rather small.

If you need me this weekend, I'll be playing ball at a diamond in or around Centennial Park in Etobicoke. I really want to win one of those awesome new hooded sweatshirts!


[my apologies for the gayest slo-pitch photo ever]

Discuss "Slo-Pitch Tournament Time" (5 comments so far)

Louis Armstrong, Me and Summer Nights in Toronto

Tales From The ExThe Ex opens tomorrow. That's a swell excuse to delve into the vault and share my memories of the CNE from when I worked there as a game booth attendant in my teens.

I typically closed up the booth at the end of the night. The park would close, I'd wait for the midway to empty and then begin bringing down the flash. The money would go to the office, the giant stuffed toys would come down from all around the booth and I'd lock up the game.

The game I worked and eventually managed was very close to the Polar Express. Every single night without failure the Polar Express' killer sound system would play Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" at the very end of the night. Every single night while I locked up the booth I'd find myself alone in the summer night with Louis Armstrong wafting though my ears. It was the ideal song to penetrate the silence in the wee hours of the night after another long day of hustling and bustling. It brought a wonderful blend of calmness and hope to an otherwise chaotic arena.

To this day I can't hear a note of that song without instantly returning to the summers of '89, '90 and '91. It remains a personal favourite.

Polar Express

[ripped straight outta this blog, originally shared on August 26, 2004]

Discuss "Louis Armstrong, Me and Summer Nights in Toronto" (2 comments so far)

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Review

Movie ReviewPrecious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire: 6.5 out of 10.

I could tell that was Mariah Carey, but damn, I totally didn't realize that was Lenny Kravitz until just now.

Oh yeah, the movie... I heard so much about this film, I felt like I had seen it before I saw it last night. Talk about spoilers, I already knew *** *** ******* *** ** and *** ***'* * ***** ** ****. Maybe that's why I didn't dig it the way I expected to.

Sure, she had a shitty hand dealt to her, but ya gotta play. Good on her, just don't tell me this is the best film of the year. And Lenny, good on you!


Discuss "Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Review" (0 comments so far)

680CFTR, SkyDome Bug Delay and CNE Conklin Carnies

Tales From The ExThe Canadian National Exhibition opens Friday. I used to work The Ex, and I've got many stories about my three years manning a game booth. This is just one of them...

During the height of Madonna's Blonde Ambition tour in 1990, I was working a game with a Madonna-wannabee. She copied that complete look, including that fake-blonde pony tail. At this time, Ms. Blonde Ambition was also my manager and in charge of managing our shifts.

This particular game had a microphone and one of us was to be on the mic at all times creating excitement and attracting the next sucker. I was on when I saw a couple of people decked out in 680 CFTR gear handing out swag. In a shameless effort to score some free goods, I hollered "CFTR Rules!" into the mic and got their attention. It worked because they came right over and handed me two tickets to see the Jays at SkyDome that night and attend a Pizza Pizza party beforehand.

Ms. Blonde Ambition had to rearrange the schedule so I could get my free pizza and check out the Jays but she had a condition. She wanted the second ticket. I agreed and that night I gorged on pizza and witnessed the first bug delay in Blue Jays history. The game is rather infamous for the 35-minute bug delay and I'm proud to have been a part of it.

Here's where this tale from the Ex kicks into high gear. The next night I was closing up the game booth after midnight when I saw Ms. Blonde Ambition's boyfriend walking towards me. He was clearly drunk and was slurring something to the effect that I should stay away from his girl and he heard I asked her out. There was no point reasoning with this guy. He was there to kick my ass.

I was sixteen and not the biggest dude around. This guy was older, bigger and full of booze. It was after midnight at the CNE and I needed back-up. Where was I to turn?

A Conklin carny was closing up his booth and I quickly approached him and in as few words as possible told him Ms. Blonde Ambition's boyfriend's was there to pummel me and I needed a little help. Even though I wasn't working for Conklin, there was a code amongst us carnies. We looked out for each other. I'll never forget what this 100 pound, 40-something year old, mullet-headed carny said and did next. He picked up a pipe, pounded it into his hand and called back behind the trailer to a collection of carnies enjoying an end-of-day brew, "You guys ready for a fight?".

This collection of Conklin carnies came through for me that night when I needed them most. I worked for a rival company, but we were all in the same gang. They saw I was in trouble and they took up the cause. To this day I'm unsure how that night ended for Ms. Blonde Ambition's boyfriend, but he didn't bother me again for the remainder of the CNE. I'm guessing he learned his lesson...carny style.

[this story originally published August 25, 2004 @ 08:10]

Discuss "680CFTR, SkyDome Bug Delay and CNE Conklin Carnies" (9 comments so far)

I'd Tell You... But Then I'd Have To Kill You

moviesI could tell you... but then I'd have to kill you.

Discuss "I'd Tell You... But Then I'd Have To Kill You" (1 comment so far)

Inception Review

Movie ReviewInception: 9 out of 10.

If you haven't seen Inception yet, and you're in the mood for a good old fashioned mind fuck, this is your movie.

I totally bugged it, even when it was hurting my brain. And the best part is after the movie when you replay it in your head and try and solve the puzzle. I have my theories, but they're full of spoilers so you won't read them here.


Discuss "Inception Review" (4 comments so far)

Bobby Thomson, Dead at 86

In MemoriumBobby Thomson was 86. He hit the famed "Shot Heard 'Round the World" that won the 1951 National League pennant for the New York Giants.

Discuss "Bobby Thomson, Dead at 86" (2 comments so far)

Telus' Pat Prefontaine is Old Spice Guy Without Charm

Thumbs DownTelus is introducing a spokesperson they call Pat Prefontaine. Pat's a lot like the Old Spice guy, Isaiah Mustafa, only not as charming. Telus would absolutely love it if you visited Pat Prefontaine at


Nice try, Telus, but if you're going to rip off the hot marketing idea of the moment you're going to have to be less obvious about it. I don't think anyone is looking for a less charming, more annoying Isaiah Mustafa.

[via Mondoville]

Discuss "Telus' Pat Prefontaine is Old Spice Guy Without Charm" (10 comments so far)

My Go-To Mr. Freeze Kisko Freezie Flavour

foodI just saw @blogesalming complaining about all the orange flavoured Popsicles in the box he just opened. I'm not an orange fan myself. My go-to Popsicle flavour is grape, or "purple" as I call it.

We buy these big boxes of Mr. Freeze Kisko Freezies. The box contains the following flavours:

  • grape
  • cream soda
  • watermelon
  • cherry
  • orange
  • blue raspberry

When the box comes in, daddy goes straight to grape. Always. I'll ride the grape train until they're gone, then I'll reluctantly switch to cream soda, or "white" as I like to call it.


What's your go-to flavour / colour of freezie?

Discuss "My Go-To Mr. Freeze Kisko Freezie Flavour" (50 comments so far)

My Thoughts on Eminem and Rihanna's Love The Way You Lie Video

musicWhen was The Marshall Mathers LP released? 1999? 2000? I just looked it up, it was released on May 23, 2000. That was a fantastic album and it converted me into an Eminem fan. I even caught him on tour that year supporting the album. I won't tell you who he opened for...

Following that album, I felt Eminem was hit and miss. I liked the odd single, but his albums as a whole paled next to The Marshall Mathers LP. Still, the first time I heard his single "Love The Way You Lie" with Rihanna, I loved it.

The video featuring Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan was recently released and I've watched it a few times. If you haven't checked it out yet, here it is. See you after the jump...

I understand why some say it glorifies domestic abuse. Domestic abuse has never appeared so sexy! But to suggest this video somehow promotes abusive relationships is like saying Nirvana's Rape Me condones rape and Pearl Jam's Better Man would make a great wedding song.

Firstly, Eminem and Rihanna's voices add weight to this topic. Both are known to have been in abusive relationships. The video simply shows the cycle. Sure it's hot, but the relationship is literally engulfed by flames. She's emotionally trapped, unable to break away, and it comes across authentic and pretty powerful.

I dug the song and I dig the video. It's good to see Eminem back.

Discuss "My Thoughts on Eminem and Rihanna's Love The Way You Lie Video" (5 comments so far)

Kaberle Trade Watch: All Hands On Deck

leafsI've asked all staff to give up their respective Sundays so all hands are on deck for today's Tomas Kaberle trade watch.

The window in Kaberle's trade clause closes at midnight. That leaves us with only 15.5 hours to pull the trigger on a deal. Everyone here will be hammering away at the phones, their Blackberries and email in an effort to sniff out Burke's plans and bring you this Leafs news before the competition.

We're calling this Kaberle Trade Watch 2010. Clever, eh?

Tomas Kaberle Autograph

Discuss "Kaberle Trade Watch: All Hands On Deck" (7 comments so far)

Boardwalk Empire Looks Good

tvThere's a new series from HBO coming this September that looks pretty good. It's called Boardwalk Empire and it's got a lot going for it.

  1. It stars Steve Buscemi
  2. It's from Emmy award-winning screenwriter and producer Terence Winter of The Sopranos
  3. The pilot episode was directed by Martin Scorsese
  4. Omar's in it

Looking forward to it...


Discuss "Boardwalk Empire Looks Good" (0 comments so far)

Why Don't More People Donate Organs and Tissue Upon Death?

trilliumFour years ago I used this forum to publicly consent to donate my organs and tissue upon my death.

I just read an article that says Canada lags behind when it comes to organ donation.

Canada’s rate of organ and tissue donation has flatlined for the past decade. The national rate (from deceased people) is 14 donors per million, which is less than half that of the best performing countries such as Spain and the U.S., which has a rate of 32 per million.

I don't get it. Why wouldn't someone want to donate their organs and tissue upon their death? When you die, your organs aren't going to do you any good, but they could give someone else life. Doesn't that make an awful lot of sense?

If you haven't consented to donate your organs, I'm curious why. Please share in the comments.

Discuss "Why Don't More People Donate Organs and Tissue Upon Death?" (12 comments so far)

Ok Ladies, Which One of You Reads Cathy?

questionmarkThe comic strip "Cathy" will run in newspapers for the final time October 3. Cathy Guisewite, the strip's creator, is pulling the plug after 34 years.

It's a well known fact that no male has ever read Cathy, but for it to exist for 34 years there must have been some traction with females.

Ladies, I must know... which of you reads Cathy? Be honest...


Discuss "Ok Ladies, Which One of You Reads Cathy?" (17 comments so far)

Norwich Union Life Insurance Commercial - At Last!

tvIn "It's Patrick, He Got Life Insurance", I wrote about an old ad I must have seen a hundred times, but couldn't find.

Now I've found it. Here's the ad:

And here's a few reasons I liked the ad.

  1. The old dude answered the phone and a mere second later announces to his wife that it's their son Patrick and he got life insurance. Patrick must be one hell of a fast talker, because the speed at which this information is conveyed is unbelievable. He doesn't open with a "Hi dad, how are you?" but in a one-second time period he manages to cram in the "hi dad, it's Patrick" and "I got life insurance" and the dad deems this news so exciting that he can't wait a minute to share it with his wife.
  2. Throughout the call, the mother of Patrick had several questions about this life insurance. She asked these questions through her husband by writing them down on paper. But not just any paper with any pen or pencil, but big white paper with coloured markers, that just happened to be by the phone. How convenient!
  3. And finally, we know the son is a fast talker, but he comes by it honestly. Mom is a super fast writer. The speed at which she neatly wrote the questions in magic marker was incredible.

Discuss "Norwich Union Life Insurance Commercial - At Last!" (15 comments so far)

Jenny Quit Because of Kerry Fraser

thumbsdownI'm guessing you've all seen this by now. Jenny supposedly quit her office assistant gig via dry erase board and it's pretty amusing stuff, even if it is probably fake.

Here's one of her grievances:


Discuss "Jenny Quit Because of Kerry Fraser" (7 comments so far)

My Songza Radio Station

radioI've been playing around with Songza, which lets you program your own internet radio station.

Click on over to and give it a listen. I'll be adding new songs soon.


Discuss "My Songza Radio Station" (3 comments so far)

Rap Traxx Compilations

cdDid anyone else out there collect the Rap Traxx series of hip-hop compilation cds that came out in the late 80s and early 90s, or was I the only one?

I totally dug Rap Traxx, especially Rap Traxx 2. Here are the tunes that appeared on Rap Traxx 2.

# Artist Song Length
1 Bust A Move Young M.C.  4:29
2 Buffalo Stance Neneh Cherry  5:46
3 Funky Cold Medina Tone Loc  4:12
4 Joy and Pain Rob Base & D.J. EZ Rock  3:49
5 My Philosophy Boogie Down Productions  6:41
6 Nightmare on My Street D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince  4:54
7 Say No Go De La Soul  4:23
8 I'm That Type of Guy L.L. Cool J  5:20
9 How Ya Like Me Now Kool Moe Dee  3:58
10 Mary: Mary Run DMC  4:24
11 Childrens Story Slick Rick  4:04
12 Shake Your Thang Salt-N-Pepa  4:00
Total: 56:00

No, those weren't the coolest Hip Hop tracks available, but it was an easy way to get a whole bunch of the top 40 rap in an era before Napster or torrents. I can't tell you how many times I played Slick Rick's Children's Story!

I've got Rap Traxx 1 through 5 and I don't care who knows it.

Discuss "Rap Traxx Compilations" (10 comments so far)

All the Children Love Santa's Village

TVAnother retro gem shared by Retrontario put the old jingle for Santa's Village back in my head.

This is a classic case of ear worming. This damn jingle was stuck in my head for years. "All the children love Santa's Village, all the children love to see him there . . ." If anyone knows what those words are before "goat", let me know in the comments.

Santa's Village is in Bracebridge, Ontario. Here's that damn ad with the catchy jingle that aired in 1985.

Discuss "All the Children Love Santa's Village" (3 comments so far)

Live Blogging Brandon Morrow's No-Hit Bid

bluejaysBlue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow has 16 strikeouts through 8 innings, but more importantly, he's got a no-hitter and a 1-0 lead.

The Rays are coming up in the top of the ninth and I'm going to live blog this inning. Remember, there is currently only one no-hitter in Blue Jays history.

3:25 - I'm nervous. I'd love Morrow to get this, he's pitched a helluva game. Jason Bartlett is at the plate.

3:27 - Barlett has flown out to Wise. 2 outs to go. You can read all about the first no-hitter in Jays history right here.

3:29 - Ben Zobrist has a 3-0 count. Make that 4-0, he's on first. A double play right now would be sweet. C'mon Morrow!

3:30 - Carl Crawford at the plate... 0-1 count. Maybe that 0-2. Fans at the diamond formerly known as SkyDome on their feet. Crawford just hit a foul into the seats. And Snider makes the catch for the second out!

3:32 - Evan Longoria is at the plate, and Morrow needs one more out for the no-no. What a weekend for this team! He's 1-1... I missed Stieb's no-hitter because I was working the CNE that day. Longoria.... FUCK. He's got a base hit. You can blame this one on me, folks. That was close!

3:35 - In addition to his 1990 no-hitter, both of Stieb's last two starts in 1988 were one-hitters, with the lone single coming with 2 outs and 2 strikes in the 9th inning in each game. Tomorrow, Morrow will be perfect.

3:38 - And that's the ball game! A 1-0 victory and a 1-hitter for Morrow with 17th strikeouts. What a game, what a weekend...

Discuss "Live Blogging Brandon Morrow's No-Hit Bid" (11 comments so far)

J.P. Arencibia's Major League Debut

JaysCalled up from Triple-A Las Vegas on Wednesday, J.P. Arencibia homered on the first pitch of his first at-bat, a two-run shot to left in the second. He added another first-pitch homer in the sixth, and finished with four hits.

Arencibia is the first player in the modern era with four hits and two homers in his major league debut. He's also the first Blue Jays player to homer in his first career at-bat since Junior Felix did the trick on May 4, 1989, against the California Angels.

J.P. Arencibia belongs in the hall of fame.

J.P. Arencibia

Discuss "J.P. Arencibia's Major League Debut" (11 comments so far)

It's 1980, I'm Crying, But I'm Wearing that Hat

JaysI don't have many pictures of me as a kid. There's a long story there, but this entry isn't about that. This entry is about a picture I have of me as a kid in which I'm crying.

Here's the picture...

Yet More Me as a Kid

When I look at that picture, the first thing I wonder is why I'm crying. I'm guessing by the way I'm holding my head that I've just been hit there. Maybe one of my little brothers drilled me with a rock... I certainly can't remember.

Then I wonder what year this picture was taken. I look younger than my son is right now, so I'm thinking I'm about 6. If it's the summer I turned six, we're looking at a picture from 1980. Of course, I might only be 5, in which case this is the 70s.

And finally, and the reason I'm writing this entry, I notice my hat. I'm wearing a Blue Jays cap. I've just played 5 baseball games (okay, 4 were slo-pitch and 1 was 3-pitch softball, but baseball sounds better) in three nights and for all five games I donned that very same hat. No, it wasn't that exact hat, but it was that exact style with that exact logo. As I wrote three years ago, I despise the new Jays logo and refuse to wear it. It's the old logo for me, and I'm sure that will remain the case until my last breath.

It's time we bring back the old Blue Jays logo.

Retro Jays Hat

Update: Finally found a picture of me as a kid in which I'm not crying. In this picture, with my brother Ryan beside me, I'm wearing what I believe is the coolest shirt in the history of the world. I want this shirt, in fact, it's now my personal quest to find and buy this shirt.

Ryan and I as Kids

Discuss "It's 1980, I'm Crying, But I'm Wearing that Hat" (13 comments so far)

Montreal Expos Tribute Video

exposIt's hard to believe it's been six years since the Expos played in Montreal. Annakin Slayd put together a nice little tribute he calls "Remember (A Tribute to the Montreal Expos)".

I like the use of the TWIB theme.

[via @downgoesbrown]

Discuss "Montreal Expos Tribute Video" (4 comments so far)

Least Inspiring Toronto Mayoral Race Ever

City HallI don't know if it's because we're in the middle of a very busy, hot summer, but from where I'm sitting this is the least inspiring Toronto mayoral race I can remember.

The simple fact this is the first I've written about this election to choose Toronto's new mayor since Rob Ford announced his candidacy tells you a great deal. That was March 16th. Since then, I haven't been motivated to write a single word about an election taking place October 25, 2010, except to chew Rocco Rossi out for his Sympatico spam.

Last I checked there were 34 candidates. They are:

  • Achampong, Rocco
  • Andrews, Don
  • Babula, George
  • Ball, Christopher
  • Barton, Andrew
  • Campbell, Douglas
  • Castillo, Jaime
  • Clarke, Kevin
  • Cole, Keith
  • Cottle, Charlene
  • Firth, Selwyn
  • Flie, Michael
  • Ford, Rob
  • Ghazi, Abdullah-Baquie
  • Gomberg, Howard
  • Hossain, Monowar
  • Lee, Dewitt
  • Letonja, John
  • Macklin, Carmen
  • Magee, Colin
  • McMillan, Jim
  • Pampena, Joseph
  • Pantalone, Joe
  • Rossi, Rocco
  • Smitherman, George
  • State, Mark
  • Steinberger, Tibor
  • Syed, Himy
  • Taylor, Phil
  • Thomson, Sarah
  • Vallance, David
  • Wadhwa, Ratan
  • Walker, Daniel
  • Yeung, Sonny

In reality, our next mayor will be one of the following: Rob Ford, Joe Pantalone, Rocco Rossi, George Smitherman or Sarah Thomson. You already know what I think about Rob Ford, but none of the other four leading candidates inspire me, either. If George Smitherman wins, it's not because he ran a stellar campaign. It's because he was the best of a bad lot.

Who would you vote for in this 2010 Toronto mayoral race?

Discuss "Least Inspiring Toronto Mayoral Race Ever" (8 comments so far)

Hiroshima Toyo Carp Outfielder Masato Akamatsu

baseballeHiroshima Toyo Carp outfielder Masato Akamatsu made an awesome catch the other night.

Is that the greatest catch ever?

Discuss "Hiroshima Toyo Carp Outfielder Masato Akamatsu" (3 comments so far)

Wave's Bloody Seductive Premise Crushed by Complexity

google waveGoogle has stopped developing Google Wave. Quite simply, not enough people were using Google Wave.

I began beta testing Google Wave last October, and sincerely wanted to like it. One month later, I foresaw this day.

I want to love Google Wave, because it's a bloody seductive premise, but it's just not intuitive enough for mass appeal. I'm one of those bleeding edge guys when it comes to web apps and I have a very hard time wrapping my feeble brain around Google Wave's advantage. I can't tell you how many folks I've been waving with who just throw up their arms and exclaim "I don't get it!". It's so hard to figure out, and life is so short...

As recently as this past weekend I logged back into Google Wave to see if maybe a light would go on and I'd see how I could actually use it to make my life better. Again, I left puzzled, wondering who was using Wave.

Google Wave was too smart for its own good. Bloody seductive, but crushed by complexity.

Discuss "Wave's Bloody Seductive Premise Crushed by Complexity" (4 comments so far)

The Pogues - Body of an American

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.

play The Pogues - Body of an American
I've been watching The Corner on HBO Canada. The Corner originally aired in 2000 and was a pre-cursor of sorts to The Wire, The Greatest Show On Television, Ever™. Naturally, when watching The Corner, I think a lot about The Wire.

Thinking about The Wire always gets me thinking about The Pogues' Body of an American. Damn I love this song.

Discuss "The Pogues - Body of an American" (2 comments so far)

It's OK: From Dead Moon to Pearl Jam

pearljamIf you're lucky, when you hear Pearl Jam perform "Daughter" live, they'll tag on "It's OK". That's what they did in New York back in 2000, and the bootleg of this performance has been an iPod staple for me ever since. It's also my current ring tone.

Here's Pearl Jam's Daughter / It's OK from Jones Beach State Park on August 24, 2000. Appropriately enough, It's OK kicks in around 4:20.

I must have heard Eddie singing "It's OK" a million times before I learnt who he was covering. The original belongs to Dead Moon and you can hear it below.

From Dead Moon to Pearl Jam, that's the incredibly under-appreciated It's OK.

It's okay, we've all seen better days
It's okay, you don't have to run and hide away
It's okay
It's okay, yeah we love you anyway.

Discuss "It's OK: From Dead Moon to Pearl Jam" (5 comments so far)

Bobby Hebb, Dead at 72

In MemoriumBobby Hebb was 72. His 1966 pop music classic "Sunny" described a sincere smile from a woman that lifted the singer's burdens.

Discuss "Bobby Hebb, Dead at 72" (0 comments so far)

Paranormal Activity Review

Movie ReviewParanormal Activity: 8 out of 10.

Yeah, I'm a little behind on my movies. It's always that way. I see them when they hit TMN, which is about a year after they hit theatres.

I just watched Paranormal Activity and totally dug it. I liked it more than The Blair Witch Project. They filmed this thing for $15,000 and it's far more entertaining than most blockbusters. It's good.


Discuss "Paranormal Activity Review" (4 comments so far)

Happy Contrived Summer Holiday!

calendarMost of us in Canada have the day off today. It's a Civic Holiday, or as I like to call it, Contrived Summer Holiday.

Essentially, with a whole summer between Canada Day and Labour Day, we needed a summer holiday. The first Monday of August sounded good, and most provinces bought in. What this holiday is called, however, depends upon where you live.

Here are the provinces outside Ontario celebrating a holiday today:

  • Heritage Day - Alberta
  • British Columbia Day - British Columbia
  • Civic Holiday - Manitoba
  • New Brunswick Day - New Brunswick
  • Civic Holiday - Northwest Territories
  • Natal Day - Nova Scotia
  • Civic Holiday - Nunavut
  • Natal Day - Prince Edward Island
  • Saskatchewan Day - Saskatchewan

And here in Ontario, this holiday gets really complicated. We call it different names depending on which city you're in.

  • Simcoe Day - Toronto
  • Mountie Day - North York
  • Colonel By Day - Ottawa
  • George Hamilton Day - Hamilton
  • Joseph Brant Day - Burlington
  • Founders' Day - Brantford
  • McLaughlin Day - Oshawa
  • Alexander Mackenzie Day - Sarnia
  • James Cockburn Day - Cobourg
  • Peter Robinson Day - Peterborough
  • John Galt Day - Guelph

Happy Contrived Summer Holiday!

Discuss "Happy Contrived Summer Holiday!" (13 comments so far)

July 2010 Organic Search Keywords

Search Strings According to Google Analytics, here are the top ten organic search keywords that brought people to this site in July 2010.

  1. toronto mike
  2. teri polo death
  3. fan 590
  4. fan 590 changes
  5. fadoo
  6. big shiny tunes 2
  7. cool wedding songs
  8. double rainbow all the way
  9. teri polo died
  10. fan590

For the second month in a row, there are lots of FAN 590-related searches bringing people to this site. But there are also a couple of Teri Polo searches on the top 10.

The Teri Polo is Dead urban legend started when Nicole DeHuff passed away in 2005. Nicole DeHuff played Teri Polo's sister in "Meet the Parents". This created a cyber version of broken telephone and every month I see hundreds of people Googling "teri polo death" or "teri polo died".

Teri Polo, and Abe Vigoda, are very much alive.

Discuss "July 2010 Organic Search Keywords" (0 comments so far)

Lisa Simpson's Wedding is Today at 1pm

homerLisa Simpson’s wedding ceremony from the sixth season episode “Lisa’s Wedding” takes place today at 1pm.

Lisa's Wedding

And she's still 8 years old!

Discuss "Lisa Simpson's Wedding is Today at 1pm" (4 comments so far)

Enough's Enough - I Want My Louie

louieI think Louie CK is friggin' hilarious, but who doesn't? His new series has been airing on FX in the USA since June, and I've been hoping a Canadian network would pick it up. I desperately want to watch this show.

Here's part of episode 6. This is damn funny, but NSFW. I'd embed it, but FX won't let me. Trust me, it's worth the click.

This delay in bringing Louie to Canada has left me no choice. The Pirate Bay it is.


Discuss "Enough's Enough - I Want My Louie" (1 comment so far)

« July 2010 September 2010 »

Want more Toronto Mike blog entries? Visit the archives.