October 2010 Archives

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Time to Break Out the Jason Mask!

halloweenIt's October 31. Time to dig out my old school goalie mask à la Friday the 13th's Jason.

Halloween 2009

At least I'm consistent...

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The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller

spookyThis short film is about a piece of footage George Clarke found behind the scenes in Charlie Chaplin's film The Circus. Attending the premiere at Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA, the scene shows a large woman dressed in black with a hat hiding most of her face, with what can only be described as a mobile phone device, talking as she walks alone.

Is this a time traveller on a mobile phone or just some lady scratching her face?

Discuss "The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller" (12 comments so far)

IE6 Users: Why?

mouseIt's safe to assume almost nobody is using IE6 by choice, but over the past 30 days 4.11% of visitors to this site were using IE6.

I have one simple question for you 4.11%. Why are you still using IE6? Are you technically unable to upgrade? Does your employer forbid the use of other web browsers?

Discuss "IE6 Users: Why?" (6 comments so far)

One Cold Halloween

HalloweenI guess I've been lucky. My first born is now 8-years old, making this my 7th Halloween going around the neighbourhood taking him trick-or-treating. I've always taken note of how seasonably warm each of these nights were, and been grateful.

They're calling for a high of 7°C tomorrow, but it'll dip to 2°C by the evening. That's friggin' cold.

Oh well... this is Halloween.

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Weekend Open Mike

microphoneLet's try this again...

Use the comments of this entry to discuss anything you want. Get something off your chest, start a debate, or simply rant away.

Discuss "Weekend Open Mike" (25 comments so far)

Bernadette, Rev. Vincent J. Morgan and the Parish of St. Joseph in Acton

ripMy mom's aunt, Bernadette Whelan, passed away earlier this week. I remember visiting her home in Acton as a child and being overwhelmed by her two giant St. Bernard dogs. I was back in Acton yesterday for her funeral, and this entry is about my great aunt Bernie and her absolute commitment and devotion to the Parish of St. Joseph in Acton, Ontario.

Bernadette was a Torontonian, living with her mother in the big smoke when she made her first trip to Acton to help Rev. Vincent J. Morgan at St. Joseph's in the early 1950s. She was only supposed to stay in Acton to housekeep for Fr. Morgan for two weeks, but she ended up spending 60 years. The housekeeper she was filling in for got engaged and Bernadette was offered the position at St. Joseph's.

Bernadette was paid $25 a month and essentially managed all aspects of the parish. She lived in Fr. Morgan's Acton home across the street from the church, and was left that house in his will when he passed away in 1977. Just yesterday, I visited Fr. Morgan's grave site in Guelph's Catholic cemetery.

Fr. Morgan

St. Joseph's parish priests came and went, but Aunt Bernie was a constant. She devoted her life to the church, working tirelessly for little, caring for all.

She's earned her rest.


Discuss "Bernadette, Rev. Vincent J. Morgan and the Parish of St. Joseph in Acton" (4 comments so far)

How Toronto Voted for Mayor

cityhallFrom the National Post, here's how Toronto voted in the mayoral election, broken down by ward.


The suburbs wanted Rob Ford, downtown wanted Smitherman.

Discuss "How Toronto Voted for Mayor" (25 comments so far)

Gregory Isaacs, Dead at 59

In MemoriumGregory Isaacs was 59. He was the Jamaican reggae singer whose smooth style earned him the nickname "Cool Ruler."

Discuss "Gregory Isaacs, Dead at 59" (3 comments so far)

The Dead Leaves, They're On The Lawn

lyrics"To the outside: the dead leaves, they're on the lawn; For they don't have trees to hang their own."

~ Band of Horses' "The Funeral" from Everything All the Time

You can see the entire collection of my favourite lyrics at https://www.torontomike.com/lyrics_i_like/.

Discuss "The Dead Leaves, They're On The Lawn" (1 comment so far)

Rob Ford is Peter Griffin #VoteTO

cityhallBack in March, I wrote "Rob Ford For Mayor? Not On My Watch...". With election day tomorrow, it's clear from the polls that Rob Ford hasn't gone away. As frighteningly inconceivable as it may seem to me, It's quite possible that he could be our next mayor. That's a scary thought.

I like what Accordion Guy wrote today about tomorrow's Toronto mayoral election. Rob Ford is Peter Griffin.

Family Guy is centred around the my-God-are-you-really-that-stupid antics of Peter Griffin, who somehow manages to come out on top despite his best efforts. Should Rob Ford become mayor, City Council is likely to become the same thing.

Ford’s campaign mantra is to “stop the gravy train” – to stop wasteful spending at City Hall. Hey, I’m all for cutting waste, but what he proposes to cut are either for show (things like free subway and zoo passes for City Council members) or useful and vital city infrastructure. To Ford, it seems that the Mayor’s number one job is to make things cheap.


Accordion Guy also mentioned Eye Weekly's summary of Rob Ford.

Wait, you say the mayoral frontrunner is an uncouth, simple-minded loudmouth with a notoriously bad temper and a penchant for saying absolutely the wrong thing? And he wants to rip up streetcar tracks, slash city spending and dismantle service infrastructure? And to top it all off, he has a demonstrated inability to get anyone on council to work with him? Where do we sign up? Seriously, though: the best-case scenario with Ford is that he can’t accomplish anything. Worst-case, he ruins the city entirely.

Let's not ruin our city entirely. Don't vote for Rob Ford tomorrow.


Discuss "Rob Ford is Peter Griffin #VoteTO" (60 comments so far)

USS at the Courthouse

MusicI was at The Courthouse last night for this Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Send Off Party. As a teetotaller, I wasn't there for the free Smirnoff drinks, I was there for Ubiquitious Synergy Seeker.

I friggin' love these guys. Here are some previous write ups on USS. Formed in Parkdale, these guys meld rock, rap, folk, dance, funk, thrash with the perfect amount of scratching and yelling. It's my kind of sound, and it was great seeing them again.

In addition to the expected hits like "Hollow Point Sniper Hyperbole", "2 15/16", "Drop Around The Clock", "Pornostartrek", "Laces Out", "Anti-Venom" and "3 Purple Butterflies" we got a few cool covers of "Hey Ya", "Wonderwall" and "Fell In Love With A Girl". It was a great show in a very intimate setting and thanks to my VIP passes, I had full run of the place.


Thanks to you know who you are for hooking me up.

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Denis Simpson, Dead at 59

In MemoriumDenis Simpson was 59. He was the original bass vocalist for The Nylons, but I knew him best as host of Polka Dot Door.

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Gordon Pinsent Reads Justin Bieber

bookHave you guys heard about this Justin Bieber kid? I hear he's a pretty big deal these days.

He's only 16, but the die-hard Leaf fan has already penned his memoirs. That's pretty damn impressive. Even more impressive is Gordon Pinsent's reading of Justin Biebers memoirs.

Discuss "Gordon Pinsent Reads Justin Bieber" (2 comments so far)

A Helpful Venn Diagram on The Internet vs. Privacy

WebI love Venn diagrams. Here's a helpful Venn diagram on the internet vs. privacy.


[via We Love Datavis]

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Weekend Open Mike

microphoneI'm going to try something here...

This might work, and it might fall flat on its face, but there's only one way to find out!

Use the comments of this entry to discuss anything you want. Get something off your chest, start a debate, or simply rant away.

Discuss "Weekend Open Mike" (45 comments so far)

Bob Guccione, Dead at 79

In MemoriumBob Guccione was 79. He was the founder and publisher of Penthouse magazine.

Discuss "Bob Guccione, Dead at 79" (3 comments so far)

Dean Blundell Sexualized Children on Edge 102

radioAbout a year ago, I wrote about the Dean Blundell Show violating Clause 9(b) (Radio Broadcasting) of the CAB Code of Ethics. That was nothing compared to what happened today. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has concluded that Dean Blundell violated Clause 8 (Exploitation) of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Equitable Portrayal Code which prohibits the sexualization of children in broadcasting.

It all started with Dean Blundell tweets about Justin Bieber. Bieber fans objected, and Dean let them have it with tweets like "Save your energy for puberty or to fend off your dad tonight while you’re sleepin’” and "He’ll be chuggin’ before he’s 18 if he likes that music."

The CBSC has found no justification for allegedly humorous references to children in sexual contexts, including those of the nature of sexual innuendo, double-entendres and inexplicit sexual comments that would not be problematic if the references were to adults. The Panel concludes that the pre-pubescent reference, “Save your energy for puberty or to fend off your dad tonight while you’re sleepin’” was gratuitous, unnecessary and a clear violation of Clause 8 of the Equitable Portrayal Code. The Panel also considers that the predictions that Josh, the youthful tweeter (they estimated his age as 12ish), will be “chugging” by the time he turns 18, are similar. The Panel considers that these comments were just as gratuitous and unnecessary and were, consequently, equally a violation of Clause 8 of the Equitable Portrayal Code.

It wasn't the tweets that got Dean in trouble with the CBSC, it was talking about the tweets on Edge 102. "Save your energy for puberty or to fend off your dad tonight while you’re sleepin’” and "He’ll be chuggin’ before he’s 18 if he likes that music." crossed the line.

What do you guys think about this ruling? Did Dean sexualize children on Edge 102?

Discuss "Dean Blundell Sexualized Children on Edge 102" (44 comments so far)

* Wants To Buy Facebook

facebookI was just reading that Apple wants to buy Facebook. That got me wondering, who else wants to buy Facebook?

I went to Google and searched for "* wants to buy Facebook". Here are the first ten results.

  1. Microsoft
  2. Yahoo!
  3. Microsoft
  4. Rupert Murdoch
  5. Apple
  6. Apple
  7. Yahoo!
  8. Microsoft
  9. Microsoft
  10. Yahoo!

I get the Microsoft, Apple and Yahoo! chatter, but where's the Google wants to buy Facebook rumours?

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You Can't Jump A Jet Plane, Like You Can A Freight Train

lyrics"You can’t jump a jet plane, like you can a freight train, so I’d best be on my way, in the early morning rain."

~ Gordon Lightfoot's "Early Morning Rain" from Lightfoot!

You can see the entire collection of my favourite lyrics at https://www.torontomike.com/lyrics_i_like/.

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Tom Bosley, Dead at 83

In MemoriumTom Bosley was 83. He was the patient, understanding father on television’s long-running "Happy Days."

Rest in peace, Mr. C.

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Wi-Fi Spooks Meaford Parents

wirelessI'm getting a kick out of this story from Meaford, Ontario.

88 per cent of a parents group have voted to ask an elementary school in Meaford to shut down Wi-Fi internet access over health concerns. I love this quote from the article:

The parents believe Wi-Fi at the school, which has about 350 students, is causing a number of symptoms among students, including headaches and an inability to concentrate, all of which disappear on weekends.

Let me get this straight... students have headaches and trouble concentrating during the school week, but on weekends they're fine...

It's gotta be the Wi-Fi! There's no other plausible explanation.

Discuss "Wi-Fi Spooks Meaford Parents" (27 comments so far)

The Drive of '85 Was a Quarter Century Ago? Really?

Blue JaysI don't want to let the 2010 baseball season end without paying tribute to The Drive of '85. Twenty-five years ago, our Blue Jays won their first divisional pennant and got their first taste of post-season play. Can you believe that was twenty-five years ago?

In 1983, my first full season as a die hard Jays fan, we had a good young team that made some noise in the American League East. In 1984 the Detroit Tigers got off to a torrid start and practically buried all others in the East but the Jays clawed back to make it interesting, finishing only four games back. Then, it was 1985, and our turn to shine. The Toronto Star, my primary source for sports news as a ten and eleven year old, referred to it as The Drive of '85. It was a magical season.

When I went through a couple of old boxes a few years ago, I found a few memories stashed away. Between my stamp collection and old Maple Leafs programs were a series of newspaper clippings from The Drive of '85...

At Last! - From the next day's Toronto Star

My Scrap Book

A Salute to the Blue Jays by The Toronto Star - a commemorative book released following the season and detailing The Drive of '85

The Drive of '85

George and Doyle - Celebrating in the Blue Jays locker room following the win

My Scrap Book

Quotes From Happy Blue Jays - What the Jays had to say upon clinching the AL East

My Scrap Book

Off And Flying! - From the Toronto Star following our win in Game 1 of the ALCS against Kansas City

Off And Flying

Only 1 To Go! - From the Toronto Star following our win in Game 4 of the ALCS putting us ahead 3 games to 1

Only 1 To Go

I still can't believe that was twenty-five years ago. I remember that entire season as if it was last year. We were one win away from the World Series before the Royals beat us three straight to win it in seven. George Brett found an extra gear and the rest is history.

There's only one fitting way for me to end this entry recalling The Drive of '85. Here's Tom Cheek calling the final out in the clinching game.

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That Moment in 2004 When I Rooted for the Red Sox

red soxI grew up with the old AL East. It was my beloved Jays along with the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers and New York Yankees. I hated those last six teams with all my heart and soul.

The two teams I always had the most hate for were the Yankees and Red Sox. I hated them the way I hate the Habs and Sens in the NHL. I could never, ever root for the Yankees or Red Sox, at least I thought I couldn't...

I just watched a 30 for 30 ESPN production called "Four Days in October" and it brought me back to a brief period in 2004 when I actually rooted for the Red Sox. Looking back, I think I was transferring the plight of fellow Leafs fans with the plight of Red Sox fans. It was a crazy time, you had to be there.

I was blogging here in 2004, so it's easy to follow my flip-flopping and see what turned me.

  • October 12, 2004 / 10:54 EST - I wrote about the curse of the Bambino and explicitly predicted the Yankees would beat the Red Sox in their series. I had no doubts.
  • October 14, 2004 / 10:31 EST - I wrote about former Blue Jays in the playoffs. I stated how nice it would be for John Olerud to play for another title and how likely that was considering the curse.
  • October 17, 2004 / 12:44 EST - With the Red Sox down three games to none, I laughed at those who didn't believe in the curse. "There is a curse and Boston will never again win another World Series. Mark my words."
  • October 20, 2004 / 07:56 EST - Prior to the seventh game between the Yankees and Red Sox, I was looking forward to seeing "what new creative way Boston finds to cough it up". I thought the three game winning streak was "a giant tease to make Red Sox fans believe again."
  • October 21, 2004 / 15:12 EST - Shocked by the Red Sox victory the night before, I start to believe in the impossible. I start to believe the Red Sox could win it all. "Everyone suddenly has warm-fuzzy feelings about all things New England and if they manage to reverse the curse and win the World Series Kerry may ride that Boston high to victory on November 4th."
  • October 22, 2004 / 08:17 EST - I throw my support behind Larry Walker and the Cardinals referring to my "hate on" for the Red Sox and the fact history repeats.
  • October 22, 2004 / 18:11 EST - A Guest Blog by my brother Steve accuses me of brushing the Boston victory under the blogging carpet. In response, I write "I must be the only one who hasn't embraced them."
  • October 27, 2004 / 16:09 EST - I stumble upon a message on a Red Sox fan bulletin board that brings a tear to my eye. "Win it for Ted, who once said, "If they ever won it, I would feel so @#%$ warm inside."" At this point, I'm rooting for the Red Sox as I relate their fans' woes to mine as a die hard Leafs supporter.

Yes, it was that damn Red Sox fan bulletin board post that did it for me. It was like they were talking to us Leafs die-hards. In fact, I've written a "win it for" message for this blog when the Leafs return to the Stanley Cup finals. I can't wait to publish it.

I haven't rooted for the Red Sox since.

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Bill Barilko Audio Recording - Listen to Bill Barilko Speak

Bill BarilkoFor the longest time, I was #1 in Google when you searched for Bill Barilko. Something called Wikipedia has since passed me, but I'm usually #2. I've maintained a tribute to Bashin' Bill for a decade, complete with video evidence of his overtime winner in '51, but I've never heard his voice... until today.

A site called barilko.ca is now hosting audio recordings of Bill Barilko. It's surreal hearing Barilko speak for the first time after wearing his #5 jersey all these years. Listen to him here chatting with his older brother Alex in Hollywood where Bill was playing for the Wolves in the PCHL. It's a greeting for their mother and sister Anne back home in Timmins.

[via @barilko]

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Barbara Billingsley, Dead at 94

In MemoriumBarbara Billingsley was 94. She gained supermom status for her gentle portrayal of June Cleaver, the warm, supportive mother of a pair of precocious boys in "Leave it to Beaver."

I enjoyed her performance in Airplane.

My brother Steve had Barbara Billingsley in The Dead Pool, drafted in September 2000. This gave him another 6 points, but he's still in last place.

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Live From London on CFNY with Lee Carter

radioI haven't shared a vintage CFNY Spirit of Radio clip in a while. It's time to fix that.

This is a promo for Live From London, a show hosted by Lee Carter from 1981 to 1989. It closes with a cool interview with Morrissey in which he discusses dissing and then meeting Howard Jones.

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It Feels a Little Like '93

LeafsThe Leafs won again last night. I missed the game, as I was playing one myself, but the record shows Phil Kessel scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to lead the Maple Leafs to a 4-3 win over the Rangers in New York.

You've likely heard that our 4-0 start is our best since '93. We won 10 in a row to start the '93-'94 season, making the calendar year of 1993 the most memorable one of my lifetime.

In the spring of '93, the upstart Leafs upset the Detroit Red Wings in a thrilling seven game series. My buddy Elvis just shared this tribute to game 7 of that series on Facebook, and I think everybody should watch it and remember what playoff hockey feels like. This was one of the most exciting games I've ever seen.

A couple of rounds later in '93, in a game seven against Los Angeles, Kerry Fraser ensured we wouldn't win the cup. But damn, 1993 was a fun year for Leafs fans.

You know what? It feels a little like '93.

Discuss "It Feels a Little Like '93" (11 comments so far)

My Google Chrome Extensions

ChromeA loyal Firefox user since before the thing was called Firefox, I switched to Google Chrome in February. You might have read about it. A month later, I was back to Firefox.

About a month ago, I quietly switched back to Chrome. Now that the Chrome extensions are as good, if not better than Firefox's, it's tough to ignore Chrome's speed advantage. It's just faster.

Here are the Chrome extensions I currently have enabled, listed in alphabetical order. I don't know if you care, but I'm always curious what extensions others are enjoying.

  1. AdBlock
  2. Are You Watching This?! Sports
  3. bit.ly | a simple URL shortener
  4. Copy Without Formatting
  5. Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer (by Google)
  6. Flickr Upload
  7. Forecastfox Weather
  8. Google Calendar Checker (by Google)
  9. Google Mail Checker Plus
  10. Google News
  11. Google Reader Checker
  12. Google reader RSS Subscriber
  13. Handy Google Shortcuts
  14. IE Tab Classic
  15. Meebo Cleaner
  16. Meebo Notifier
  17. Pendule
  18. Power Twitter for Chrome
  19. Screen Capture (by Google)
  20. Twitter Search Results on Google

If you recommend any Chrome extensions I'm not using, please let me know in the comments.

Discuss "My Google Chrome Extensions" (15 comments so far)

I've Never Been to the Circus

rewindI was just perusing Retrontario's latest uploads when I saw a 1986 ad for the Garden Bros. Circus at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Here's the ad with Dave Devall doing the voice over.

Watching the ad I realized something. I've never been to the circus. I actually don't think I'd like the circus, but how would I know? I've never been. Crazy, eh?

Discuss "I've Never Been to the Circus" (0 comments so far)

The City She Loves Me

lyrics"The city she loves me, lonely as I am, together we cry."

~ Red Hot Chili Pepper's "Under The Bridge" from Blood Sugar Sex Magik

You can see the entire collection of my favourite lyrics at https://www.torontomike.com/lyrics_i_like/.

Discuss "The City She Loves Me" (1 comment so far)

Justin Bieber Loves the Leafs

leafsThis Justin Bieber kids seems to be a pretty big deal these days. Did you know he's from Stratford, Ontario? That's prime Leaf fan territory, don'tchaknow.

Dude's got 5,707,831 followers on Twitter. 5,707,831 followers... that's even more than I have. He's got 5,707,831 influential, passionate fans clinging to his every Tweet, and guess what he just tweeted?


That's right, Bieber's a Leafs fan. And now so are 5,707,831 others.

Discuss "Justin Bieber Loves the Leafs" (8 comments so far)

Jeff Finger Signing Never Made Sense

leafsJeff Finger has been placed on waivers by the Toronto Maple Leafs. When he clears waivers, he'll be sent down to the Marlies and Brian Burke will get $3.5 million of cap room back.

One of the cool things about maintaining this blog for the past 8 years is that I can go back in time and read what I thought about events as they unfolded. For example, on July 1, 2008, I wrote an entry entitled "Uncle Cliffy Gives Us The Finger". The deal didn't make any sense to me at the time, and here's what I wrote.

I understood signing Cujo to a nice and tidy one year deal for $700,000 but I don't get why Cliff Fletcher just signed defenceman Jeff Finger to a four-year deal worth $3.5 million a season.

I understand the Toronto Maple Leafs need bodies, but do we really have to give four year deals to 28 year olds with 94 career games under their belts? Admittedly, I can't remember ever seeing him play, so if The Finger is Sylvain Lefebvre reincarnate I shall stand corrected.

In a sense, Uncle Cliffy just gave us The Finger and told Bryan McCabe to f*ck off.

It's also fun to read the comments that fateful day in July, 2008. I wrote this in response to a few "trust Cliff" comments.

C'mon, he was benched for half of the Avs' playoff games. How awesome could he be when he's a healthy scratch in the playoffs?

And, that's a mammoth raise for a guy with one season under his belt. Why did we pay so much for such a lengthy term?

A two year deal at $2 million per sounds about right for The Finger.

I also made a little image that day. It rings more true today than ever. Thanks Uncle Cliffy!


Discuss "Jeff Finger Signing Never Made Sense" (6 comments so far)

Deep Greens and Blues are the Colors I Choose

lyrics"Goodnight, you moonlight ladies; Rockabye sweet baby James... Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose; Won't you let me go down in my dreams... And rockabye sweet baby James."

~ James Taylor's "Sweet Baby James" from Sweet Baby James

You can see the entire collection of my favourite lyrics at https://www.torontomike.com/lyrics_i_like/.

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Cleveland Show Tribute to Joe Bowen's Down Goes Brown

TVI PVR The Cleveland Show. It's part of the Sunday night cartoon block I record on Fox and watch when unwinding. Last night, while The Cleveland Show aired live, I started seeing tweets about a "Down goes Brown" call. Here's The Cleveland Show's "Down goes Brown" reference I just captured on my digicam and uploaded to YouTube.

If you Google "Down goes Brown", the results are flooded with info about this guy. But Down Goes Brown the hilarious Barilkospherian blogger took his handle from Joe Bowen's legendary call on The FAN 1430 back in 1992 of Sylvain Lefebvre knocking out Rob Brown. Here's Joe Bowen's "Down goes Brown" call.

I know what you're thinking... How is it possible The Cleveland Show would parody a local Toronto radio call this obscure? Surely this is one big coincidence...

My forensic analysis is complete, and I'm ready to declare this is in fact a homage to Joe Bowen's 1992 call. As you heard in the Zapruder film above, the announcer repeats several well known calls after he mimics Joe Bowen with "Down goes Brown! Down goes Brown!" They are:

  1. "I don't believe what I just saw!" - This was Jack Buck's famous call after Kirk Gibson's walk-off World Series homer in 1988
  2. "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" - This was Al Michaels' famous call after the USA hockey team stunned the Soviets in the 1980 Olympic Games
  3. "President Reagan has been shot." - This was the famous first announcement that John Hinckley had shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981 (I'm not sure who said it first)
  4. "Soylent Green is people!" - This was the famous final line from Charlton Heston in the movie Soylent Green
  5. "Fahrvergnügen" - This was an advertising slogan used by Volkswagen in 1990

With this additional context, it's clear "Down goes Brown!" is being used in The Cleveland Show as a parody of a famous call, and "Down goes Brown!" has no other meanings in popular culture. Some of you will say it's a spin on Howard Cosell's famous call when George Foreman knocked down Joe Frazier, as was Joe Bowen's original call. Cosell's call was "Down Goes Frazier! Down Goes Frazier! Down Goes Frazier!". I feel sorry for those who choose to believe such things.

Without a doubt, someone on The Cleveland Show writing staff is a big Toronto Maple Leafs fan who felt it was time an American series paid homage to Joe Bowen's legendary call. Like The Hip said, it's been a long time coming, but it's well worth the wait.

Discuss "Cleveland Show Tribute to Joe Bowen's Down Goes Brown" (5 comments so far)

Banksy's Simpsons Couch Gag

banksyThe Simpsons' couch gag last night was directed by Banksy. It's dark, disturbing and very good.

While we're discussing the Sunday night cartoon block on Fox, The Cleveland Show had a "Down goes Brown" reference. Coincidence? I have a forensic analyst on the case and will report back my findings soon.

Discuss "Banksy's Simpsons Couch Gag" (2 comments so far)

We're Building a New Wheel Instead of Fixing a Slow Leak

lyrics"We're building a new wheel instead of fixing a slow leak."

~ Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker's "Kit" (unreleased)

You can see the entire collection of my favourite lyrics at https://www.torontomike.com/lyrics_i_like/.

Discuss "We're Building a New Wheel Instead of Fixing a Slow Leak" (1 comment so far)

Solomon Burke, Dead at 70

In MemoriumSolomon Burke was 70. He was the larger-than-life "King of Rock and Soul," whose songs blended soul, gospel, country and R&B.

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Made It, Ma! Top of the World!

LeafsIt was great fun watching the Leafs dominate the Sens last night. That's two wins over our two greatest rivals to start the season, our best start in 11 years.

On this 10th day of the 10th month in 2010, at precisely 10:10, let's take a moment to soak in this wonderful new reality. We're #1.


Too soon?

Discuss "Made It, Ma! Top of the World!" (13 comments so far)

Bose SoundDock II Suckage

boseLess than two years ago, I picked up a Bose SoundDock II digital music system. It's how I play my music at home. I pop on my iPod and it sounds great.

At least it sounded great. All of a sudden, it stopped making a peep. There no audio, and yes, I've done quite a bit of trouble shooting, introducing a second iPod and ensuring there's power getting to the unit.

It was a pretty expense device, and important to my quality of life, so getting less than two years out of it is disappointing to say the least. I called Bose today to ask about my options. They troubleshot it a little more, came to the conclusion it was busted, and told me they could fix it for $115 + taxes and shipping costs. Or, for a little over $200 + taxes and shipping costs, they'd send me a new one.

I don't want to buy a new system, I just want the one I have to work. I realize my one-year manufacturer's warranty has expired, but it's a high-end Bose, and I expected better.

Consider yourselves warned.


Discuss "Bose SoundDock II Suckage" (18 comments so far)

I Want You To Notice When I'm Not Around

lyrics"I dont care if it hurts, I wanna have control, I want a perfect body, I want a perfect soul, I want you to notice when I'm not around. you're so fuckin' special, I wish I was special, but I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo, what the hell am I doing here? I don't belong here."

~ Radiohead's "Creep" from Pablo Honey

You can see the entire collection of my favourite lyrics at https://www.torontomike.com/lyrics_i_like/.

Discuss "I Want You To Notice When I'm Not Around" (2 comments so far)

What Do You Hate That Everyone Else Loves?

question markMy pal Humble has asked a question on Facebook and Twitter today. He wants to know what we hate that everybody else loves.

His answer is Betty White, Champagne and Pink Floyd. I'm going with Julia Roberts, Jackass, the Dave Matthews Band, Glee and MMA.

How about you? What are things you hate that everybody else seems to love?

Discuss "What Do You Hate That Everyone Else Loves?" (63 comments so far)

And Now My Bitter Hands...

lyrics"And now my bitter hands chafe beneath the clouds, of what was everything".

~ Pearl Jam's "Black" from Ten

You can see the entire collection of my favourite lyrics at https://www.torontomike.com/lyrics_i_like/.

Discuss "And Now My Bitter Hands..." (2 comments so far)

The Secret Rules of Engagement

lyrics"The secret rules of engagement, are hard to endorse".

~ The Tragically Hip's "Grace, Too" from Day For Night

This is the first in what will be a collection of my favourite lyrics. You can see the entire collection at https://www.torontomike.com/lyrics_i_like/.

Discuss "The Secret Rules of Engagement" (4 comments so far)

The 1st of Doctober

baseballThis is why Roy Halladay had to leave. The Greatest Blue Jay Starting Pitcher of All-Time has been my man crush for some time. Hell, I once wrote that I heart the guy. But when he left for the Phillies, we all knew why...

Roy needed to pitch in October, henceforth to be referred to as Doctober. Roy Halladay belongs on a playoff team, pitching on the biggest stage. In his playoff debut, he pitched a no-no. I don't know about you, but I was on my feet for that entire 9th inning, full of hope and pride. Only the second no-hitter in playoff history, it was thrown by my boy Roy.


Well done, Roy. It couldn't have happened to a more deserving player. The Hall of Fame is now, officially, a guarantee.

Discuss "The 1st of Doctober" (3 comments so far)

Doug and the Slugs

musicIt's hard to believe it's almost been six years since Doug Bennett passed away. Doug Bennett was lead singer of Doug and the Slugs, a Canadian band that seemed to dominate top 40 radio in these parts in the early 80s.

My top 40 radio station of choice at the time was 680 CFTR and not a day went by that I didn't hear a little Doug and the Slugs. The big three singles from Doug and the Slugs, if my memory serves me correct, were "Too Bad", "Day By Day" and "Making It Work".

Here they are as we remember a great Canadian band that went virtually unnoticed outside this country. Pity.

Too Bad

Making It Work

Day By Day

Discuss "Doug and the Slugs" (7 comments so far)

Maple Leafs Opening Night Roster

mapleleafsThere's a Leafs game tomorrow night. The hateful Habs are in town. It's a clean slate, we're tied in first and we're all drinking from the fountain of eternal optimism.

Here's our opening night roster. Go Leafs Go!


42 TYLER BOZAK    6' 1" 195 19 MAR 1986 24 REGINA, SK, CAN
37 TIM BRENT    6' 0" 188 10 MAR 1984 26 CAMBRIDGE, CAN
18 MIKE BROWN    5' 11" 205 24 JUN 1985 25 CHICAGO, IL, USA
84 MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI    5' 11" 183 31 JAN 1984 26 POTSDAM, DEU
81 PHIL KESSEL    6' 0" 202 2 OCT 1987 23 MADISON, WI, USA
41 NIKOLAI KULEMIN    6' 1" 225 14 JUL 1986 24 MAGNITOGORSK, RUS
39 JOHN MITCHELL    6' 1" 204 22 JAN 1985 25 OAKVILLE, ON, CAN
28 COLTON ORR    6' 3" 222 3 MAR 1982 28 WINNIPEG, MB, CAN
38 JAY ROSEHILL    6' 3" 215 16 JUL 1985 25 OLDS, AB, CAN
11 FREDRIK SJOSTROM    6' 1" 218 6 MAY 1983 27 FÄRGELANDA, SWE
32 KRIS VERSTEEG    5' 10" 182 13 MAY 1986 24 LETHBRIDGE, AB, CAN
26 MICHAEL ZIGOMANIS    6' 0" 200 17 JAN 1981 29 TORONTO, ON, CAN


22 FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN "A"  6' 0" 213 4 JUN 1980 30 SOREL, QC, CAN
4 JEFF FINGER    6' 1" 209 18 DEC 1979 30 HOUGHTON, MI, USA
36 CARL GUNNARSSON    6' 2" 196 9 NOV 1986 23 OREBRO, SWE
15 TOMAS KABERLE 6' 1" 214 2 MAR 1978 32 RAKOVNIK, CZE
8 MIKE KOMISAREK "A"  6' 4" 243 19 JAN 1982 28 WEST ISLIP, NY, USA
29 MATT LASHOFF    6' 2" 204 29 SEP 1986 24 EAST GREENBUSH, NY, USA
23 BRETT LEBDA    ** 5' 9" 195 15 JAN 1982 28 BUFFALO GROVE, IL, USA
3 DION PHANEUF "C"  6' 3" 214 10 APR 1985 25 EDMONTON, AB, CAN
49 DANNY RICHMOND    6' 0" 192 1 AUG 1984 26 CHICAGO, IL, USA
2 LUKE SCHENN    6' 2" 229 2 NOV 1989 20 SASKATOON, SK, CAN


50 JONAS GUSTAVSSON    6' 3" 192 24 OCT 1984 25 DANDERYD, SWE

Discuss "Maple Leafs Opening Night Roster" (7 comments so far)

Dear Mr. Hicks: Liverpool FC Fans Let Owners Have It

liverpoolLiverpool FC is owned by Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett. Liverpool FC fans are not happy with their leadership.

Filmmaker Mike Jefferies produced a little video entitled "Dear Mr Hicks" that features disgruntled Liverpool fans. Here's that video:

It's enough to make you wish we Leafs fans had a face to blame for our recent disgraces, the way we blamed Harold Ballard in the 80s. Dear Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan doesn't quite pack the same punch.

Discuss "Dear Mr. Hicks: Liverpool FC Fans Let Owners Have It" (4 comments so far)

They Smoke A Lot In Mad Men

tvI love watching Mad Men. I'm currently plowing through season 3, so please, no spoilers.

They sure smoke a lot in Mad Men. Here's every cigarette smoked in the show.

Discuss "They Smoke A Lot In Mad Men" (2 comments so far)

My Email Signature Pet Peeve

emailI work in marketing. Periodically, there will be an event to promote, and someone will always suggest a graphic for the email signature. I always hate the idea. Why bog down an email with an image that will often be stripped?

The Oatmeal has a very funny piece on email you should check out. And yes, they've included something about email signatures...


Discuss "My Email Signature Pet Peeve" (1 comment so far)

Jose Bautista's 54 Home Runs

jaysA tidy 2-1 win at Target Field this afternoon marked the end of the Blue Jays' 2010 season. It was the 85th win for this promising young club, and Cito's last game as manager. Jose Bautista went 0 for 3, meaning his 54 home runs are officially in the books as the new Blue Jays single season record.

54... I'm still shocked at how George Bell's 23 year old record was annihilated. I'm a guy who grew up under the amazing weight of Roger Maris' 61, so I'm still trying to digest the fact a Jay not named Carlos Delgado came within 7 of that mark. 54 homers ties Bautista for 19th overall in the history of baseball. Only 10 other franchises can claim a better single season record than 54.

In August, I wasn't happy with Bautista's pursuit of George Bell's record, but got over it a few weeks later. Now, I'm just proud of all 54.

Here's a nice montage of his first 52 this season, all hit to left field. It's time for The1995Man1 to update this video so we can all get a look at that one opposite field shot.

Discuss "Jose Bautista's 54 Home Runs" (7 comments so far)

The Top 100 Canadian Songs of All Time?

musicOn Canada Day, 2007, I listed what I believed to be the top 100 Canadian songs of all time. It was a 1.5 month endeavour to assemble that list, and I was pretty proud of it.

A new book by Bob Mersereau has reignited this great debate. Bob lists the top 100 Canadian singles. Here's Bob's list. I've made the choices we agreed on bold.

1. The Guess Who — "American Woman"

2. Neil Young — "Heart of Gold"

3. The Band — "The Weight"

4. Bryan Adams — "Summer of '69"

5. Leonard Cohen — "Hallelujah"

6. Steppenwolf — "Born to Be Wild"

7. Gordon Lightfoot — "If You Could Read My Mind"

8. Bachman Turner Overdrive — "Takin' Care of Business"

9. Ian and Sylvia — "Four Strong Winds"

10. Anne Murray — "Snowbird"

11. Joni Mitchell — "Big Yellow Taxi" / "Woodstock"

12. Rush — "Tom Sawyer"

13. Blue Rodeo — "Try"

14. Tragically Hip — "New Orleans is Sinking"

15. Gordon Lightfoot — "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"

16. Leonard Cohen — "Suzanne"

17. Tom Cochrane — "Life is a Highway"

18. The Guess Who — "These Eyes"

19. Gordon Lightfoot — "Sundown"

20. Sloan — "Underwhelmed"

21. The Band — "Up on Cripple Creek" / "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"

22. Maestro Fresh Wes — "Let Your Backbone Slide"

23. The Diodes — "Tired of Waking Up Tired"

25. Rush — "The Spirit of Radio"

25. Crowbar — "Oh What a Feeling"

26. Rough Trade — "High School Confidential"

27. Martha and the Muffins — "Echo Beach"

28. Stampeders — "Sweet City Woman"

29. Arcade Fire — "Wake Up"

30. Barenaked Ladies — "If I Had $1,000,000"

31. Robert Charlebois — "Lindberg"

32. The Pursuit Of Happiness — "I'm an Adult Now"

33. Ugly Ducklings — "Nothin' "

34. Sloan — "Coax Me"

35. Rush — "Closer to the Heart"

36. Teenage Head — "Picture My Face"

37. Guess Who — "Shakin' All Over"

38. Five Man Electrical Band — "Signs"

39. Blue Rodeo — "Lost Together"

40. Ron Hynes — "Sonny's Dream"

41. Men Without Hats — "The Safety Dance"

42. Rheostatics — "Claire"

43. Lighthouse — "One Fine Morning"

44. A Foot In Coldwater — "(Make Me Do) Anything You Want"

45. Corey Hart — "Sunglasses At Night"

46. Loverboy — "Working For The Weekend"

47. Trooper — "Raise A Little Hell"

48. Parachute Club — "Rise Up"

49. Alannah Myles — "Black Velvet"

50. Terry Jacks — "Seasons in the Sun"

51. Malajube — "Montreal -40C"

52. Neil Young — "Cinnamon Girl"

53. Alanis Morissette — "You Oughta Know"

54. Feist — "1234"

55. Arcade Fire — "Rebellion (Lies)"

56. k.d. lang — "Constant Craving"

57. Neil Young — "Rockin' in the Free World"

58. Michel Pagliaro — "Lovin' You Ain't Easy"

59. Bruce Cockburn — "Lovers in a Dangerous Time"

60. Tragically Hip — "Bobcaygeon"

61. Joni Mitchell — "A Case of You" / "California"

62. The Demics — "New York City"

63. Bryan Adams — "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You"

64. Tragically Hip — "Ahead by a Century"

65. Blue Rodeo — "Five Days in May"

66. Hank Snow — "I'm Moving On"

67. Harmonium — "Pour un instant"

68. Steppenwolf — "Magic Carpet Ride"

69. Sloan — "Money City Maniacs"

70. Celine Dion — "My Heart Will Go On"

71. k-os — "Crabbuckit"

72. The Kings —"This Beat Goes on/Switchin' to Glide"

73. Neil Young — "Old Man" / "Needle and the Damage Done"

74. Jean Leloup — "1990"

75. Payola$ — "Eyes of a Stranger"

76. Blue Rodeo — "Hasn't Hit Me Yet"

77. Bachman Turner Overdrive — "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet"

78. Bruce Cockburn — "Wondering Where the Lions Are"

79. April Wine — "You Could Have Been a Lady"

80. Teenage Head — "Let's Shake"/ "Somethin' On My Mind"

81. Joni Mitchell — "Help Me"

82. Trooper — "We're Here For A Good Time"

83. Lighthouse — "Sunny Days"

84. Jean-Pierre Ferland — "Le petit roi"

85. Bryan Adams — "Cuts Like A Knife"

86. Stompin' Tom Connors — "The Hockey Song"

87. Tragically Hip — "Wheat Kings"

88. Gilles Vigneault — "Mon pays"

89. Spirit of The West — "Home For a Rest"

90. New Pornographers — "Letter from an Occupant"

91. Guess Who — "No Time"

92. Mashmakhan — "As the Years Go By"

93. Neil Young — "Hey Hey My My"

94. Paul Anka — "Diana"

95. Daniel Lanois — "The Maker"

96. The Spoons — "Nova Heart"

97. Beau Dommage — "La complainte du phoque en Alaska"

98. Ron Sexsmith — "Secret Heart"

99. Bryan Adams — "Run to You"

100. Wintersleep — "Weighty Ghost"

Pretty similar... I didn't have any French songs on my list, and opted for different Rheostatics, Feist and New Pornographers, but we're pretty close... especially in the top 25.

Heck, I'll save you a click and just reprint my list below.

The Tragically Hip - New Orleans Is Sinking

Neil Young - Helpless

The Band - The Weight

Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi

Gordon Lightfoot - Canadian Railroad Trilogy

Stan Rogers - Northwest Passage

Sloan - Underwhelmed

The Guess Who - American Woman

Leonard Cohen - Suzanne

Neil Young - Heart of Gold

Blue Rodeo - Try

Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah

The Tragically Hip - Courage

Barenaked Ladies - Brian Wilson

Cowboy Junkies - Misguided Angel

Arcade Fire - Wake Up

Gordon Lightfoot - Early Morning Rain

Neil Young - Rockin' In The Free World

Rush - The Spirit of Radio

The Guess Who - Share the Land

Blue Rodeo - Lost Together

Death From Above 1979 - Romantic Rights

Our Lady Peace - Naveed

Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)

Blue Rodeo - Diamond Mine

Bruce Cockburn - Lovers in a Dangerous Time

Gordon Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind

Five Man Electical Band - Signs

Bachman Turner Overdrive - Takin' Care Of Business

Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown

The Guess Who - These Eyes

Blood, Sweat and Tears - Spinning Wheel

Hayden - Bad As They Seem

Neil Young - Cinnamon Girl

Ian and Sylvia - Four Strong Winds

Joni Mitchell - Woodstock

Rush - Closer to the Heart

Joni Mitchell - Both Sides, Now

Our Lady Peace - 4am

Maestro Fresh-Wes - Let Your Backbone Slide

k.d. lang - Constant Craving

The Tragically Hip - Bobcaygeon

Neil Young - Old Man

Dream Warriors - My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style

Sarah Harmer - Silver Road

Jeff Healey - Angel Eyes

The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic

I Mother Earth - So Gently We Go

Our Lady Peace - Clumsy

Joni Mitchell - The Circle Game

The Pursuit of Happiness - I'm An Adult Now

The Lowest of the Low - Henry Needs A New Pair of Shoes

Ashley MacIsaac - Sleepy Maggie

Robbie Robertson - Somewhere Down the Crazy River

Tom Cochrane - Big League

Rush - Tom Sawyer

Moist - Push

Billy Talent - Nothing To Lose

Rusty - Wake Me

The Northern Pikes - Teenland

Sarah Harmer - Basement Apartment

Sarah McLachlan - Hold On

The Tragically Hip - Wheat Kings

Sloan - Coax Me

Spirit of the West - Home For A Rest

Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild

Crash Test Dummies - Superman's Song

Stars - Ageless Beauty

The Tragically Hip - Ahead By A Century

The Demics - New York City

Barenaked Ladies - If I Had $1,000,000

54-40 - I Go Blind

Bryan Adams - Summer of '69

The New Pornographers - Use It

The Watchmen - All Uncovered

Treble Charger - Red

Sam Roberts - Brother Down

Randy Bachman - Prairie Town

Sarah McLachlan - Angel

Tom Cochrane - Boy Inside The Man

Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know

Skydiggers - I Will Give You Everything

Men Without Hats - Safety Dance

Rough Trade - High School Confidential

Hot Hot Heat - Bandages

Corey Hart - Sunglasses at Night

Loverboy - Working For The Weekend

Metric - Combat Baby

Rusty - Misogyny

k-os - Heaven Only Knows

Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment

Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

Rheostatics - Record Body Count

Odds - Heterosexual Man

The Gandharvas - The First Day of Spring

The Diodes - Tired of Waking Up Tired

Feist - Mushaboom

Gowan - A Criminal Mind

Grapes Of Wrath - All The Things I Wasn't

Max Webster - A Million Vacations

Any glaring omissions from both lists?

Discuss "The Top 100 Canadian Songs of All Time?" (10 comments so far)

Wolf Parade's Yulia Video - You'll Like This

videosAs 2005 wound down, I ambitiously decided to write about my 10 favourite songs from that calendar year. On that list was my favourite song, "I'll Believe In Anything", from one of my favourite albums of the year, Apologies to the Queen Mary by Wolf Parade.

Wolf Parade's latest album is the perfectly-named-for-a-Canadian-band Expo 86. Here's an awesome video for a great song from that album, "Yulia".

Discuss "Wolf Parade's Yulia Video - You'll Like This" (1 comment so far)

I Love This Hartford Whalers Pic

photoMy bud Vinay Menon linked to an SI slide show on NHL / music collaborations.

As I was perusing the list I came across this write-up about the Hartford Whalers' Brass Bonanza.

But what struck me was the photo that accompanied the SI story. It's one of the most beautiful pictures I've ever seen. There's something about this pic...


Discuss "I Love This Hartford Whalers Pic" (2 comments so far)

Top Organic Search Keywords for September 2010

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

  1. jason barr
  2. jason barr fired
  3. jason barr the edge
  4. what happened to jason barr
  5. toronto mike
  6. jason barr edge
  7. jason barr 102.1
  8. teri polo death
  9. jason barr blog
  10. why was jason barr fired

8 out of 10 are Jason Barr-related searches. I'm not surprised. A key member of a popular morning show was fired and there wasn't a single mention of it in the mainstream media.

Discuss "Top Organic Search Keywords for September 2010" (1 comment so far)

Test Pattern with Dan Gallagher on MuchMusic

musicIn the early 90s, I used to catch a game show on MuchMusic called Test Pattern. It was hosted by Dan Gallagher and it wasn't particularly funny or clever, but if I stumbled upon it I'd watch. I think I watched because of Dan Gallagher.

Dan Gallagher's friend, Luciano Casimiri, lived on my mom's street at the time. We'd see Dan walking by all the time. I remember he was a big fan of our sprinkler.

Dan passed away far too young in 2001. Here's a MuchMusic promo for Test Pattern.

Discuss "Test Pattern with Dan Gallagher on MuchMusic" (8 comments so far)

Of Darcy Tucker and the Jersey Jinx

LeafsDarcy Tucker has announced his retirement. The former Leafs forward scored 215 goals and 476 points and amassed 1410 minutes in penalties in 947 career NHL games.

Back in 2002, Darcy Tucker and Bryan McCabe had terrible seasons. That led my brothers and I to believe in the jersey jinx. You see, one brother wore a McCabe jersey while the other wore a Darcy Tucker. I, of course, stayed true to Bill Barilko. Here's a pic of us in our jerseys almost a decade ago.

Bill Barilko

Way back in 2003, during a comeback year for both Tucker and McCabe, my brother Ryan wrote the following guest blog entry.

A couple of Christmas' back I purchased a Maple Leaf jersey for both brothers. Mike was given the late great jersey of Bill Barilko, and it was given with confidence that his legend would live on and the value of the authentic leaf jersey would never devalue. However I took quite a risk when I grabbed a Darcy Tucker jersey for Steve. Last year I believe he used the jersey to clean up the mess Mike left behind after the Leafs took an exit in the playoffs. This year, however, that Tucker jersey must be worn proudly. Every Boo Tucker takes from every fan in every rink we play at makes me ecstatic!! He not only distracts players and gets them off their game, but he is scoring goals and getting to the right spot on the ice. Tucker is a boon to the Leafs, and I truly believe that every Stanley Cup contender needs a "Tucker" on their team. So continue yapping your yap Tucker... I, for one, love every word you say.. or cry....

Ya had to love #16's intensity and grit. Here's an autograph I got from Tucker many moons ago.

Darcy Tucker Autograph

Discuss "Of Darcy Tucker and the Jersey Jinx" (12 comments so far)

The Biggs And Barr Show

radioI get a lot of questions about Jason Barr. Is he going to The Fan 590? What really went down before his dismissal from Edge 102? What's he up to now?

The Biggs And Barr Show has popped up on YouTube.

Radio free agent heavyweight's (in no other category than mass) Jason Barr (102.1 The Edge) and Chris Biggs (Z103.5, CHUM and Virgin 99.9) have now joined forces for the sole purpose of getting free swag...and favours, from the young impressionable members of the promotions staff at whatever station they land at. Some guy heard another dude say "A union of this magnitude has not been witnessed since the cast of Danger Bay was assembled!" The Biggs And Barr Show is 92% fully operational and waiting for your orders... and to start getting paid an enormously undeserved salary.

Discuss "The Biggs And Barr Show" (9 comments so far)

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