January 2011 Archives

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CKLN Stripped of Broadcast License by CRTC

radioWhat's happening at CKLN-FM? The Ryerson-based station had its license revoked by our friends at the CRTC. They have to cease broadcasting by February 12, 2011.

Here's an email I just received about the decision.

Hi Mike;

I've been expecting you to get up the lightning bolts and thunder at the CRTC for axing my radio station, CKLN.FM 88.1 Friday. A harsh blow, that came to light during my show, with one of the comissioners actually presenting a lengthy criticism of the decision WITHIN THE REPORT. Rumours and disparagements focus on the unresolved messes left for us at CKLN over a decade of tumult. The sincere efforts of the struggling board and volunteers committed to good radio are being ignored and misrepresented so that a conservative agenda can set precedents for strong-arm tactics in all alternative media. Could you look into this, please?

Beware, Toronto, beware, Canada, beware especially, the next generation.

I just read the decision.

In this decision, the Commission revokes, by majority vote, the broadcasting licence for CKLN-FM Toronto, held by CKLN Radio Incorporated, as of 12 February 2011. In reaching this determination, the Commission considered the serious and continuous nature of the licensee’s non-compliance with numerous regulatory obligations, the station’s inability to institute the measures necessary to ensure ongoing compliance, and the lack of confidence on the part of the Commission that such measures could or would be instituted within a reasonable amount of time. The licensee must cease broadcasting on 12 February 2011, by no later than the end of the broadcast day.

What follows is a pretty lengthy list of non-compliance examples, and all the warnings CKLN got. What's interesting is the opinion of Commissioner Louise Poirier. Here's what Poirier wrote.

Hastily revoking a campus radio station licence in Toronto, Canada’s biggest market, will not send a positive signal to the campus radio community, which consists of organizations comprised mainly of volunteers, who unstintingly contribute time and energy to give their community a voice. This decision is consistent neither with the Commission’s usual practice nor with the spirit of Circular 444. In my opinion, based on the evidence before us, the decision to revoke the licence at this time is premature, disproportionate and inequitable.

Does the CKLN board have any recourse? What happens to the frequency on February 13? What do you Ryerson students think of this decision?

Discuss "CKLN Stripped of Broadcast License by CRTC" (12 comments so far)

Can You Explain What Internet Means?

digital1994 was an interesting year. NAFTA was established, there was no World Series, the Leafs made the conference finals, Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the leg, Kurt Cobain killed himself, Justin Bieber was born, OJ fled police in a white Bronco...

...And Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric didn't know what the Internet was...

I want to know when we stopped displaying that symbol as an "a" in a circle and started using @.

Discuss "Can You Explain What Internet Means?" (5 comments so far)

Do We Suck? The Dean Blundell Show Asks

radioI was just catching up on my email, when I saw an item from The Dean Blundell Show asking "Do We Suck?".

I thought that was a pretty timely question following this ongoing debate.

Here's the email. And no, I haven't taken the survey yet.


Discuss "Do We Suck? The Dean Blundell Show Asks" (29 comments so far)

Challenger Disaster 25 Years Ago: My Memories

rewind25 years ago today, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on its 10th flight during mission STS-51-L. I once ranked it #3 on a list of world events that affected me. I was 11-years old, and the Challenger disaster gave me a recurring nightmare.

I was in grade five when the space shuttle Challenger exploded during launch, killing the seven on board. We were outside playing in the playground at St. Pius X primary school during lunch break when a classmate who had been home for some reason ran up to our group to share the news. I remember Peter telling me that the space shuttle had crashed and I remember replying with a "no way!".

Being eleven years old, I was well old enough to follow this event. I remember seeing the photographs in the next day's Toronto Star and watching the coverage on television. I felt horrible for the seven on board, particularly Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher to fly in space. Her presence made it all the more devastating to me.

Over the next while, I remember periodically awakening in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. I was having the same nightmare over and over again and it was so traumatic I recall it as if I had it again last night. In this nightmare, I'm piloting a space shuttle. I'm 100% responsible for ensuring the safety of the flight and there are dozens and dozens of people on board. There's a moment in this dream when I realize we're going to crash, everyone will die and there's absolutely nothing I can do to prevent it. That powerless sensation haunted me. It's even difficult to write about, despite the fact I haven't had this dream in about 23 years.

Discuss "Challenger Disaster 25 Years Ago: My Memories" (4 comments so far)

Beware the Deadly Tree

leafsSo... Stan Lee is creating superheroes for each team in the NHL. According to the NHL, "these 30 Guardians will be unveiled together in a special presentation during the 2011 NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 30 in Raleigh, N.C."

Pretty cool. I can't wait to see what superhero my Leafs get!


Oh... it's a tree. A giant walking and talking tree. Nevermind.

Discuss "Beware the Deadly Tree" (14 comments so far)


RewindYouTube user Retrontario frequently uploads fantastic retro-Toronto-centric gems. These clips never fail to bring back a ton of memories for me, so I feature them from time to time.

I loved this ad as a kid. It got plenty of airplay, and seemed so clever.

Even watching it now, I got chills. What a fantastic ad for Caramilk.

Discuss "Anything???" (6 comments so far)

Of CFNY and Other Stories

radioI get letters. This one is from Chris who had something to get off his chest about CFNY a.k.a. Edge 102.


It's about 3:20am on a Monday night and a case of insomnia, largely fueled by the internet, had me surfing around the net looking up information to confirm what a friend told me, that Jason Barr was no longer with 102.1.

That leads me to your site - and pages and pages of critique on the state of 102.1... and I have to say that it's really refreshing to read something that reminds me I'm not crazy to feel, nor am I the only person out there, who feels totally ripped off by the direction that station has taken.

I'm 34. I've listened to CFNY since I was 12 and first got a stereo system that could pick up a signal from where I lived in the boonies. I know I just caught the last end of the dying gasps of that station and I can't help but feel bad for the young kids growing up today who will get yet another dose of corporate, top-40s music; instead of new, exciting, unheard of artists.

I had been traveling for a few years, and I come back to the death of Martin Streek, the loss of the few funny and interesting radio personalities, rap and hip-hop on 102.1, and the virtual takeover of the station by a bunch of middle-aged frat boys who have nothing more to offer than trite, juvenile, potty-humour.

It's a sad realization indeed to come to the conclusion that a former staple doesn't even warrant being programmed into the radio dial of a new car.

Thanks for taking the time to write about this - and not just write about it but recognizing the importance of the station - or what it used to be - in terms of it's impact on Toronto, and the surrounding area. Thousands people heard something new, got a taste for local musical flavour, and got to know people who truly cared about music. It truly mattered. I can remember vividly where I was when Martin Streek introduced Burning Inside by Ministry on a late night weekend show years and years ago. That was my introduction to industrial. I'm sure hundreds of people have similar memories.

It's too bad that's apparently gone for good.

Looking for the next best station,


By the way, Chris... Jason Barr is half of the new Biggs and Barr team on HTZ 97.7. Has anyone heard the show yet? What did you think?

If anyone wants to do what Chris did and peruse my CFNY / Edge 102 ramblings, they're all waiting for you at https://www.torontomike.com/cfny_edge_102/.

Discuss "Of CFNY and Other Stories" (24 comments so far)

I Think I Made Justin Pogge Go Crazy

puckI was really excited about Justin Pogge on January 6, 2006. On that date, I wrote that I had seen the future of Maple Leaf hockey. His name was Justin Pogge.

Things seemed to be going fine for Pogge as a Maple Leaf until I interviewed him. That was the beginning of the end for him. The Justin Pogge era came to a crashing halt here in Toronto back in June of 2009.

Puck Daddy tells us today that Justin Pogge has gone insane. I think I made Justin Pogge go crazy. Here's the video evidence.

I'm sorry, Justin.

Discuss "I Think I Made Justin Pogge Go Crazy" (9 comments so far)

Jack LaLanne, Dead at 96

In MemoriumJack LaLanne was 96. He was a fitness, exercise, nutritional expert, and motivational speaker who had been called "the godfather of fitness".

I remember him best from his Power Juicer infomercials.

Discuss "Jack LaLanne, Dead at 96" (3 comments so far)

December 5, 1990 and January 2, 1992

cn towerWhen Alex Anthopoulos sent Vernon Wells to the Angels the other day, it got me thinking about big trades in Toronto sports history.

The two biggest, in my opinion, took place just over a year apart in the early 90s. You simply can't discuss big Toronto team trades without talking about December 5, 1990 and January 2, 1992.

December 5, 1990
Pat Gillick sent Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez to the Padres for Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar. It was two all-stars for two all-stars, and the end result would be two World Series championships for the Jays.

January 2, 1992
Cliff Fletcher sent Gary Leeman, Alexander Godynyuk, Jeff Reese, Michel Petit and Craig Berube to the Flames in exchange for Doug Gilmour, Jamie Macoun, Ric Nattress, Kent Manderville and Rick Wamsley. Gilmour assumed superstar status and led us to within a whisker of the Stanley Cup finals in 1993.

Both were amazing trades for the Jays and Leafs, but which one was better?

Discuss "December 5, 1990 and January 2, 1992" (5 comments so far)

The Premature Gatorade Shower

gatorade bathThere's a neat article about the origin of the Gatorade shower over on mental_floss.

My favourite nugget is the premature Gatorade shower Kentucky coach Guy Morriss received. Here's footage of Morriss getting drenched and then LSU wideout Devery Henderson quickly scoring a miracle touchdown on a tipped Hail Mary play.

If you're going to celebrate an upset win by pouring Gatorade on your coach, just make sure you end up with the W.

Discuss "The Premature Gatorade Shower" (2 comments so far)

Vernon Wells Traded to Angels

bluejaysLet's get the business side of things out of the way first. Vernon Wells will make $86 million over the next four years. Many call it one of the worst contracts in MLB, virtually unmovable. GM Alex Anthopoulos just moved this unmovable contract, without sending any money to Anaheim.

I used to analyze trades strictly by what's leaving and what's arriving. Vernon Wells has been a class act here in Toronto since making his debut on August 30, 1999. Last season, he became the fourth Jay to have three or more seasons with at least 30 home runs. (You can guess the other three in the comments.) That's right, he bounced back with a good year, but he was never going to earn his monster contract. Still, if you leave the contact out of it, we'd all take a Vernon Wells over a Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli, wouldn't we?

But we can't look at trades that way any more, and that makes Alex Anthopoulos GM of the year. First he acquired Kyle Drabek and two other prospects for Roy Halladay when Halladay would only go to Philadelphia, now he's saved the Jays about $75 million by dumping Wells on the Angels.


But before we say goodbye to Vernon Wells, a great Jay for over a decade, let's revisit one of my favourite Wells stories. I call it Dear Mr. Dork.

Vernon Wells was getting heckled by Cleveland's Jacobs Field Bleacher Creatures on May 2nd, so how did Wells respond? He wrote a note on a ball and tossed it to the key heckler, Jeff Raycher.

Here's what Wells wrote on the ball.

Dear Mr. Dork,
Here is your ball! Can you please tell me what gas station you work at, so when you are pumping my gas, I can yell at you!!! Now sit down, shut up and enjoy the game.
- Your favorite centrefielder

I love that response. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode "The Fire" in which Jerry showed up at a heckler's office and shouted insults at her.

Like Ronnie said, "Jerry, you're like Rosa Parks. You opened the door for all of us. I can't wait till the next time someone heckles me."


Discuss "Vernon Wells Traded to Angels" (6 comments so far)

Mike Richards Coming to Toronto Radio

radioThere's a lot of Toronto sports media movement this week. I've just heard Mike Richards is leaving Calgary for a spot on TSN Radio. Wait... there's a TSN Radio now? How long was I sick?

Here's a nice email about it that I just received from Adam.

As a follow-up to your post from June (https://www.torontomike.com/2010/06/is_the_mike_richards_show_comi.html) Mike Richards resigned today from CFAC-AM (Sportsnet Radio, Fan 960 – Calgary) and per The Globe is coming to Toronto to host the morning drive for CHUM-AM (TSN Radio, 1050 Toronto).

First reported at http://torontosportsmedia.com/sports-and-toronto/mike-richards-headed-toronto-sports/10065.

Then confirmed at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/bruce-dowbiggin/tsn-radio-a-reality/article1878887.

And then finally officially confirmed at http://rogersradiointernet.com/hq/newsletters/cache/4336.html.


P.S. Love the blog man, long time reader, first time writer… 

That CP24 simulcast on 1050 was a complete bust. I'm glad to see it dead.

Discuss "Mike Richards Coming to Toronto Radio" (10 comments so far)

Damien Cox Doesn't Quit Toronto Star, Joins Rogers

newspaperI read it in both the Globe and Mail and Toronto Sun, so it had to be true, right? Apparently not. Reports that Damien Cox had quit the Toronto Star for TSN were untrue.

He's staying at the Toronto Star, and according to this Rogers press release, he has signed on with Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet Radio.

Sportsnet Radio is what they're calling The Fan 590 these days, and there he'll be a co-host on Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown. It sounds like he'll take the late Jim Kelley's spot in the rotation.

I hate it when facts get in the way of a good story.

Discuss "Damien Cox Doesn't Quit Toronto Star, Joins Rogers" (5 comments so far)

Crank it Up

Pearl JamYeah... that's the stuff.

Crank it up.

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

Discuss "Crank it Up" (4 comments so far)

Damien Cox Quits Toronto Star for TSN

newsStar of Cox and Berger of the Bells, and columnist for the Toronto Star for as long as I can remember, Damien Cox has apparently resigned from the Star to take a full-time position with TSN.

I can already hear Canadians outside of the GTA complaining that TSN has hired another Toronto guy, further proof that TSN stands for Toronto Sports Network. Let me assure these people that Damien Cox actually hates Toronto with a passion.

Click that link to see what I mean. On Twitter, he's obnoxious and ridiculous, once picking a fight with the Pension Plan Puppets guys. When I asked Damien Cox aloud why he hated us so, I closed with this.

I'm not sure why Damien Cox hates us so, but I sense he feels threatened. Suddenly you don't need to work for the Toronto Star to have a publishing platform to voice your opinions. Suddenly your detractors can do more than simply write a letter to the editor. We can harness the power of Twitter, Facebook and blogs to be heard.

Damien's comfortable world is dying. You can almost understand why he's lashing out.

And now he has his deal with TSN and can quit his gig at the Star. I hope he's happy, but I'm sure he's not.

Discuss "Damien Cox Quits Toronto Star for TSN" (9 comments so far)

In Search of the Right Social Media Share Button Balance

justiceI'm a big fan of social media sharing, Twitter in particular. When somebody finds an interesting, funny, insightful or informative entry (like this one!), I'd like it to be easy to share the article with friends and followers. That's where social media share buttons come into play.

They're everywhere these days. Most entries have a button or two (or three or four) to Like in Facebook, Tweet via Twitter, share via Buzz and submit to Digg, Reddit, delicious (if they're still around) or Stumbleupon. In addition, there's often an option to email, print, subscribe via RSS and something called "comment". That's right, you can actually comment on an entry without actually leaving the site. What an age we live in...

The problem with every blog / site having the aforementioned 11 buttons is clutter. That's a lot of buttons tied to every entry, and if you throw in the title, date, author, categories and tags, there's not much room left for the actual entry itself. The challenge is to find the right social media share button balance.

For the longest time I did without any social media share buttons on the home page and permalinks. Recently, I started playing with a Tweet button, and watched it do its magic when I posted Sarah Palin's Target Map last weekend. Today, I'm going to try something new on the home page.


Every entry will conclude with four simple calls to action: Permalink, Comment, Tweet or Like. So please start using them, should I actually write something you deem worthy of sharing with your Facebook friends or Twitter followers. In the meantime, I'll keep tweaking. Gotta find that balance...

Discuss "In Search of the Right Social Media Share Button Balance" (1 comment so far)

5 Observations About Coachella 2011

MusicI just got a glance at the lineup for the 2011 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Here's the poster, followed by a few observations by yours truly.


  • The first thing I noticed is that Death From Above 1979 is on this bill. Welcome back, guys. You were missed.
  • Good on Arcade Fire for scoring the largest font. Their Saturday bill includes Cancon heavyweights Broken Social Scene and The New Pornographers.
  • Speaking of Cancon heavyweights, if you scroll way down that poster, and look at the very last line in the smallest font... you'll find one of my favourite performers of all time.
  • And a few lines above Gord Downie, you'll see City and Colour. I smell a Sleeping Sickness duet.
  • I'm embarrassed to report there's a band in the 2nd largest font that I had never heard of. I had to Google Caifanes to learn they're a Spanish-language rock band. We don't get a lot of Spanish-language rock up here.

Who's going?

Discuss "5 Observations About Coachella 2011" (7 comments so far)

35 Sick Songs (Or Music to Get Sick By)

sick songsHere are songs in my collection with the word "sick" in the title. Assembling this list, I had to make a decision regarding covers. I decided to allow them, so you do get "Subterranean Homesick Blues" from The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

  • World Sick - Broken Social Scene
  • Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song) - Fiona Apple
  • Subterranean Homesick Blues - The Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Subterranean Homesick Blues - Bob Dylan
  • Subterranean Homesick Alien - Radiohead
  • Sleeping Sickness - City And Colour
  • The Sickos - Robert Rodriguez
  • Sickman - Alice In Chains
  • Sickening Song - Rheostatics
  • Sick, Sick, Sick - Queens of the Stone Age
  • Sick To Death - The Beatles
  • Sick Stew - Buck 65
  • Sick Sad Little World - Incubus
  • Sick of You - The Killjoys
  • Sick of Myself - Matthew Sweet
  • Sick of It All - Finger Eleven
  • Sick of Goobyes - Cracker
  • Sick Muse - Metric
  • Sick Love Song - Mötley Crüe
  • Sick Bed of Cúchulaínn - The Pogues
  • Sick Again - Led Zeppelin
  • Sick & Tired - Default
  • Lovesick Blues - Madeleine Peyroux
  • Lovesick Blues - Hank Williams
  • It's Sickening - Classified
  • I'm Sick Y'all - Otis Redding
  • I'm Sick of You - Iggy Pop
  • Homesick - The Vines
  • Homesick - Soul Asylum
  • Helicopter Sicko Chopper - Robert Rodriguez
  • Good Times (Sick Pimpin') - Atmosphere
  • GhettoMusick - OutKast
  • Emotion Sickness - Silverchair
  • Down With the Sickness - Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine
  • Down With the Sickness - Disturbed
  • Countdown (Sick For The Big Sun) - Phoenix

If I could only keep three of the songs above, I'd take "Sleeping Sickness", "Sickman" and "The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn". Although I must confess, "Down With the Sickness" is a guilty pleasure.

Discuss "35 Sick Songs (Or Music to Get Sick By)" (8 comments so far)

Ricky Was Funny... Get Over it, Hollywood

tvI'm starting to come back to life after a battle with this bug that's making the rounds. Although I'm a little late, I wanted to write about the Golden Globes.

The best part of the show was Ricky Gervais. He was predictably funny with pot-shots at Hollywood celebs who take themselves far too seriously. If you missed his opening monologue, do yourself a favour and watch it here.

It was funny, but at some point, I'm guessing Ricky shattered Hollywood's fragile ego. At about 9:30 he disappeared from the telecast for over an hour. There's speculation the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has already blacklisted Gervais, ensuring he won't be invited back and any movie he's associated with won't be nominated for a Golden Globe.

Ridiculous. Ricky was funny, and Hollywood needs thicker skin. Get over yourselves.


Discuss "Ricky Was Funny... Get Over it, Hollywood" (7 comments so far)

Roy Hartsfield, Dead at 85

In MemoriumRoy Hartsfield was 85. He was the first manager of our Toronto Blue Jays, compiling a record of 166-318 (.343) in 484 games.

Discuss "Roy Hartsfield, Dead at 85" (3 comments so far)

Weekend Open Mike

microphoneI'm really enjoying this new feature...

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" (50 comments so far)

I'm Not a Cancer, I'm a Gemini - Just Like My Award

calendarOn my long list of things I think are bullshit, right near the top, is astrology.

If you think your zodiac sign is anything other than pure entertainment, I have swamp land in Florida you may be interested in. Your zodiac sign means nothing, and it's likely not what you think it is.

The ancient Babylonians based the zodiac on which constellation the sun appeared to be in when a person was born. Since then, the moon's has exerted a gravitation pull on Earth, causing a "wobble" on its axis that has shifted the stars' alignment by about a month, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

"Because of this change in the tilt, the Earth is over here and the sun is in a different constellation than it was 3,000 years ago when this study of the stars began," astronomer Parke Kunkle told the Twin Cities' KARE-TV.

I always thought I was a Cancer, but it turns out I'm actually a Gemini. That makes sense, as I once won a Gemini.

Here's your new sign below:

Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16

Aquarius: Feb. 16-March 11

Pisces: March 11-April 18

Aries: April 18-May 13

Taurus: May 13-June 21

Gemini: June 21-July 20

Cancer: July 20-Aug. 10

Leo: Aug. 10-Sept. 16

Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30

Libra: Oct. 30-Nov. 23

Scorpio: Nov. 23-Nov. 29

Ophiuchus: Nov. 29-Dec. 17

Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20

Discuss "I'm Not a Cancer, I'm a Gemini - Just Like My Award" (12 comments so far)

Dire Straits Faggot Line Was Censored in Grade 7

Dire Straits Faggot Line Was Censored in Grade 7I'm amused by news Money for Nothing by Dire Straits has been deemed unacceptable for play on Canadian radio. Many moons ago, when I was in grade seven, my teacher ran this program where one kid a day would bring in a song and discuss the lyircs with the class.

I distinctly remember Marc S. bringing in Dire Strats' Money for Nothing. Our teacher tore a strip off of him because of the use of the word "faggot" in the lyrics.

I remember thinking the use of the word faggot was okay because the song received such frequent play on MuchMusic and on the radio. Everyone knew you couldn't swear on the radio!

Well, it turns out Mr. I was ahead of the curve. You can no longer say faggot on the radio... at least not in Canada.

By the way, Marc S. didn't get in nearly as much trouble as Kris L. who dared bring in Paul Revere by the Beastie Boys. Mr. I. said "rap isn't music" and I'm pretty sure he literally kicked Kris out of class that day.

Times have sure changed.

Discuss "Dire Straits Faggot Line Was Censored in Grade 7" (17 comments so far)

Not Gonna Bite This Time, Leafs

LeafsThe Leafs have won four in a row. James Reimer was lights out last night as we came back against the Sharks. All four wins have been pretty sweet, as most wins are, but I'm not gonna bite this time.

The last time we won four in a row, I wrote the most embarrassing entry in the history of this blog. That's right, I bit... and I bit hard. I put on the blue and white tinted goggles and lost touch with reality.

Not this time. Nope. Not gonna do it.

Discuss "Not Gonna Bite This Time, Leafs" (6 comments so far)

John Dye, Dead at 47

In MemoriumJohn Dye was 47. He's best known for playing Andrew on the television series "Touched by an Angel."

Discuss "John Dye, Dead at 47" (11 comments so far)

We Burn Down Oshawa First...

cntowerJohn Hastings is a Toronto Comedian and he's doing his very first headlining appearance as a stand-up comedian at the Downtown Yuk Yuks on January 12th to the 16th.

I told him if he wanted a plug he had to write an essay on what he loves and/or hates about Toronto. Here's what he sent me.

I John Hastings love Toronto but like any great love affair a tiny hate sprinkle keeps my love for this city of large towers and bizarrely performing sports teams interesting. I hate the fact that nobody defends this city to the outside criticism that gets thrown at “Big Smoke” on a second by second basis by the people who do not live here. I am a comedian, which is a job that I have, and one of the tasks of that job is to go to every ridiculously tiny town and listen to someone who considers lack of teeth to be a point of pride bash my adoptive home.

Now these naysayers of my apartments location never mention massive traffic, a mayor who looks like a baby with his period or the extreme amount of taxes we face (the taxes in this town are so extreme I as a comedian who does not own a couch is aware that the taxes are outlandish). These summer teeth dolts mention things that do not make any sense when you think about the context in which the complaint is delivered. For example last while in Highland Hamlet Ontario (Not the real name of the town, the change was to protect the innocent it was to protect but due to the fact that I cannot remember the precise name of the town) and while there a man who was chewing tobacco and smoking a cigarette at the same time came up and asked how do I live in Toronto there seems to be nothing going on there. He said this as a resident of a town that did not have a grocery store and what was my response to this attack on my home. I stood there and nodded and said I know what I mean. I should have slapped the cigarette out his mouth and said listen up you hick in my town we burned police cars just because it was weekend in June but no as I previously stated I stood there, I starred, and said I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN.

I have no idea what causes this lack of defensive attitude in our people but we need to take a stand and explain to the rest of the country that we Toronto are the big dog in the yard and stop biting our ears of we are going to start biting back. Now how do we send this message? We burn down Oshawa first off I never trust a town that has three Wal-Marts that you can see from the highway yet no houses. As well nobody I am sure will miss it and finally I will roll into Blyth Ontario only to here somebody on snow-mobile say “Be complimentary that joker is from Toronto and last time I made fun of that big stupid tower Tie Domi showed up at my house and punched my dog”. For more gems like this come watch me yell at Yuk Yuks this week the 12th to the 17th 224 Richmond street all shows are at 8 and then 8 and 10:30 on Friday and Saturday.

Discuss "We Burn Down Oshawa First..." (5 comments so far)

Jose Bautista's +15 Over Paul Konerko = Bananas

mlbYeah, I'm late on this one. Bautista won the AL home run crown over Paul Konerko by 15 dingers, but I only now realize how big a gap that is, thanks to the Baseball-Reference Blog.


In related news, Babe Ruth could hit. In 1920, he had 4 more HR by himself than any other AL team. Now that's bananas.

Discuss "Jose Bautista's +15 Over Paul Konerko = Bananas" (0 comments so far)

Name the Dome. Win Seats For Life.

RewindA glove tap to YouTube user Retrontario who found this gem from 1987. It's about the ballpark that would be known as Skydome and it includes information about the "Name the Dome. Win Seats For Life." contest I desperately wanted to win.

Retrontario barely salvaged this one for us.

This was found on a badly damaged old tape which was in a pile meant for the garbage man. I saw "Dome" scribbled on the side and thought it might be of interest. Always sad to me that most stuff of this nature ends up destroyed.

By the way, I always thought we should have named it Thunderdome.

Discuss "Name the Dome. Win Seats For Life." (8 comments so far)


linkI've been following this blog If we don't, remember me. for a while, and thought I'd share the love.

This individual posts an animated gif from a movie and a quote. That's all the blog is, but I love it. Here are a few of my favourites.




Discuss "IF WE DON'T, REMEMBER ME." (2 comments so far)

Jared Lee Loughner's YouTube Channel

Jared Lee Loughner's YouTube ChannelThe man accused of killing six and wounding another 12, including Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, has been identified as Jared Lee Loughner.

Jared Lee Loughner recently started a YouTube channel as user Classitup10. He uploaded five videos in November and December 2010. In the first few, it's mainly gibberish about "new currency" and mind control. But the two he uploaded on December 15 are interesting...

Here's his video "Introduction: Jared Loughner".

In that video is the following argument.


If I define terrorist then a terrorist is a person who employs terror or terrorism, especially as a political weapon.

I define terrorist.

Thus, a terrorist is a person who employs terror or terrorism, especially as a political weapon.

If you call me a terrorist then the argument to call me a terrorist is Ad hominem.

You call me a terrorist.

Thus, the argument to call me a terrorist is Ad hominem.

His final slide sheds some light on why he (allegedly) did what he did today.

In conclusion, reading the second United States Constitution, I can't trust the current government because of the ratifications: The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.

No! I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver!

No! I won't trust in God!

The final video uploaded by Jared Lee Loughner is simply titled "Hello". Uploaded only a few weeks ago, it concludes with an ominous warning.

In conclusion, my ambition - is for informing dreamers about a new currency, in a few days, you know I'm conscience dreaming! Thank you!

But, perhaps most telling, is the one video favourited by Jared Lee Loughner. It's from user Starhitshnaz and it's titled "America: Your Last Memory In A Terrorist Country!".

The song is "Bodies" by Drowning Pool, a song I've always enjoyed with "let the bodies hit the floor" and "something's got to give" repeated in the chorus. The accompanying description is a great dose of crazy, warning the "ability to protest is from the brainwash of the current government structure".

If there's no flag in the constitution then the flag in the film is unknown.
There's no flag in the constitution.
Therefore, the flag in the film is unknown.
Burn every new and old flag that you see. 
Burn your flag! 
I bet you can imagine this in your mind with a faster speed. 
Watch this protest in reverse! 
Ask the local police; "What's your illegal activity on duty?".
If you protest the government then there's a new government from protesting. 
There's not a new government from protesting.
Thus, you aren't protesting the government.
There's something important in this video: There's no communication to anyone in this location.
You shouldn't be afraid of the stars. 
There's a new bird on my right shoulder. The beak is two feet and lime green. The rarest bird on earth, there's no feathers, but small grey scales all over the body. It's with one large red eye with a light blue iris. The bird feet are the same as a woodpecker. This new bird and there's only one, the gender is not female or male. The wings of this bird are beautiful; 3 feet wide with the shape of a bald eagle that you could die for. If you can see this bird then you will understand. You think this bird is able to chat about a government? 
I want you to imagine a comet or meteoroid coming through the atmosphere.
On the other hand, welcome yourself to the desert: Maybe your ability to protest is from the brainwash of the current government structure.

I'm no detective, but based on that writing style and warped logic, I'd guess Starhitshnaz is also Jared Lee Loughner.

What a sad day in Arizona.

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Sarah Palin's Target Map and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

usaBack in September, Sarah Palin launched a target map. She was targeting 20 House Democrats who voted for the nation's new health care law and who represent districts that Sen. John McCain carried in the 2008 presidential election. Here's the map, which literally had targets over these members of congress.


One of those targets is for Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. She was shot in the head and killed today during a constituent meeting at a Tucson grocery store.

I'm not suggesting Sarah Palin is criminally responsible for Gabrielle Giffords death, but targeting her with a bull's-eye and promoting that fact to your legion of right-wing fanatics seems rather callous in retrospect. I'll be watching this story closely, and hoping the two facts aren't related.

When crazy people follow crazy people, stupid shit will happen. And when Twitter exploded with news of the attack on Giffords, Sarah Palin was busy tweeting about the price of gold.


Irresponsible and insensitive.

Update: Some reports say Giffords is still alive. Here's hoping she pulls through. Meanwhile, since I posted this entry, Palin's team has taken her target map offline. Can you say damage control?

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A Long Entry About Roberto Alomar

alomar jaysOn December 5, 1990, the Blue Jays pulled off their biggest trade in franchise history. Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter came to Toronto in exchange for Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez. This trade changed everything.

Alomar and Carter were key ingredients in our back-to-back World Series championships. Carter was Mr. Consistent, good for 100 RBIs and 30 HRs each year, but Alomar would become the greatest position player in franchise history. This entry is all about him, a newly elected member of the hall of fame and the first member to don a Blue Jays cap. If you care nothing for the Jays, our glory years or Alomar, you can stop reading now. For everybody else, get comfy. This is going to be a long one.

Alomar was a Jay for five seasons from 1991 through 1995. I've only been blogging since 2002, so the fact a search of this blog for instances of the keyword "alomar" renders 30 results tells you how significant he was. Especially since I completely soured on the greatest Blue Jays position player by the time he left as an unrestricted free agent.

The blog is only in its ninth year, but back in 2005 I uncovered an old blog-like journal I kept in the mid-90s. Here's what I wrote on October 3, 1996.

I've got to update you on an incident that occurred at the Skydome last week. Former hero to myself Roberto Alomar was called out on a third strike that looked outside. He argued profusely and was ejected. He then came back out of the dugout and argued further. Then he spit in the umpire's face. He would later make a poor reference to the umpire's departed son and he appealed his five game suspension. Alomar is a jerk. I detected this a year ago when he claimed Toronto was unsafe because of his death threats and began making hints that he would like to play alongside Cal Ripken, Jr. He would then sit out the final series of the season to protect his .300 batting average. Ted Williams played out his final two games while sitting on a .400 batting average and Mr. Williams managed to go six for eight and raise his average to .406. Robbie Alomar couldn't carry Mr. Ted Williams' jock strap.

The way Alomar left town always left a bad taste in my mouth. That nonsense about feeling unsafe in Toronto, sitting on the .300 average, the John Hirschbeck incident... and recently, shocking AIDS allegations, from not one but two women, including his wife. He's not the easiest athlete to love but I've been able to separate his character from the Robbie Alomar we saw between the lines for five seasons. The Alomar I watched daily from 1991 through 1995 is the greatest ballplayer I've ever seen.

Here's his stats from his Blue Jays years. Click the image below to enlarge.


Those stats are sick. He was an all-star and golden glove winner every year he played in Toronto. He was the MVP of the 1992 American League Championship Series hitting a monumental homer in that series against Dennis Eckersley. He could hit for average, power when necessary, he played breath taking defense and he could steal bases. We often forget what a good base stealer Alomar was. His 55 stolen bases on 1993 is only second to Dave Collins' 60 in 1984. Only Lloyd Moseby recorded more career steals as a Blue Jay.

Say what you will about Alomar the person, but when it came to what he brought to the field from 1991 through 1995, we were so blessed to have him. In addition to hitting for average, power when necessary, playing the best defense at 2nd base I've ever seen and stealing bases, he was clutch. If the early-90s Jays were trailing heading into their at bat in the 9th inning, I always felt confident we'd pull it out if Devon White, Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter or Paul Molitor were due up.

We should all be proud his time has come. He's been elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, being named on 90% of the ballots. He'll go to Cooperstown wearing our favourite logo.

Congrats, Robbie. And thanks for five special years.

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Seattle's Qwest Field Beer Conspiracy

beerAs the only Tragically Hip listening, hockey watching Canadian who doesn't drink beer, I'm merely passing this along as a courtesy.

The small sized beer sold at Qwest Field in Seattle gives you the same volume of beverage as the large sized beer. You can save yourself $1.25 by buying the small... at least until they correct this oversight.

And that's one to grow on...

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Stop Effing With My Saturday Nights!

NHLI'm sure I've bitched about this before, but I'm going to do it again. It's my blog, you'll just have to deal with it.

It's Saturday. On Saturday nights during hockey season, I go on autopilot and naturally tune in CBC at 7pm for a Leafs game. The Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada was always a slam dunk. There was a solid stretch of 15 years there where the Leafs were featured every Saturday night on HNIC, so you can see how this muscle memory evolved.

So it's Saturday, and I'm already planning my day around the Leafs game tonight, except there's one tiny problem with that... The Leafs don't play today. That's right, it's Hockey Night in Canada without the blue and white.

I don't get it... sure, there are more competitive teams this year, but there are no teams with as big a fan base. Without a doubt the CBC takes a ratings hit every Saturday night they don't feature the Leafs. Why screw with my sacred Saturday night ritual?

I'm not exactly sure where the blame lies. The NHL makes the schedule, but I'm fairly certain the CBC has been able to demand Saturday night Leafs games. I'd love to know if this is the CBC saying they don't need the Leafs every Saturday night or if this is the NHL schedule makers dealing shitty cards.

A Saturday night in January without a Leafs game is like certs without the retsyn. What the hell am I supposed to do tonight?

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Weekend Open Mike: WJHC Hangover Edition

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.

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Biggs and Barr New Morning Team at 97.7 HTZ-FM

radioBecause you don't follow me on Twitter, you didn't get the heads up last night. What else of interest could have possibly been taking place last night?

Here's the tweet you missed.


That's right, Jason Barr, recently dismissed from the Dean Blundell Show on 102.1, has joined forces with Chris Biggs, recently dismissed from Virgin 999, to form the new morning show at 97.7 HTZ-FM.

They start January 17.

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Canada 3, Russia 5

Canada HockeyYou know what never gets boring?


Da! Da! Canada! Nyet! Nyet! Soviet!

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Alomar's Time Has Come

Good News For RobbieExactly six years ago today, I wrote Good News For Robbie. Ryne Sandberg was voted into the baseball Hall of Fame and if Sandberg got in, Alomar had to be a shoe-in.

I was watching baseball every day when Syndberg starred, and Alomar played the same position, only better. As I wrote at the time.

Alomar is the best player to ever don a Blue Jays uniform and he was the best second baseman in baseball for a solid decade. He hit for average, had good power, played awesome D and was an excellent base stealer. Furthermore, he was clutch and a key component of our two World Series Championships. Most importantly, he was clearly a better player than Ryne Sandberg and should therefore be voted in to Cooperstown.

See the logic? Tomorrow afternoon, I'll get to write about Robbie's induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He'll be the first to go in wearing a Blue Jays cap, and that's saying something.


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Gerry Rafferty, Dead at 63

In MemoriumGerry Rafferty was 63. He was the singer best known for hit tracks Stuck in the Middle With You and Baker Street.

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Canada 4, USA 1

Canada HockeyI friggin' loved this game. I loved that it was on US soil but the crowd was all ours, I loved that we got revenge for last year and I loved that we dominated as underdogs, destroying our neighbours for a chance to play Russia in the finals.

Goals by Curtis Hamilton, Quinton Howden, Ryan Johansen and Zack Kassian sent us to our 10th final in a row. I can't wait for Wednesday night.

Go Canada Go!

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The Fine Line Between Faith and Crazy

crazyThe Associated Press is featuring an article about Marie Exley. Marie seems normal enough, she's a 32-year-old Army veteran from Colorado Springs, except for one thing... She believes the end of the world will begin May 21, 2011.

To get the word out, they're using billboards and bus stop benches, traveling caravans of RVs and volunteers passing out pamphlets on street corners. Cities from Bridgeport, Conn., to Little Rock, Ark., now have billboards with the ominous message, and mission groups are traveling through Latin America and Africa to spread the news outside the U.S.

"A lot of people might think, 'The end's coming, let's go party,'" said Exley, a veteran of two deployments in Iraq. "But we're commanded by God to warn people. I wish I could just be like everybody else, but it's so much better to know that when the end comes, you'll be safe."

In August, Exley left her home in Colorado Springs, Colo., to work with Oakland, Calif.-based Family Radio Worldwide, the independent Christian ministry whose leader, Harold Camping, has calculated the May 21 date based on his reading of the Bible.

This entry isn't to bash religion or to promote atheism, it's simply to point out the fine line between faith and crazy. A large group of people believe on May 21 they'll be taken up to heaven, while everyone else will remain on earth for a period of torment, concluding with the end of time. If you heard that from a homeless guy downtown, you'd label him crazy. I don't see the difference between the homeless guy downtown and folks like Marie Exley.

She's crazy. And when May 21 comes and goes and Harold Camping's cult is still with us, they'll make up a different date.

People will believe and do some crazy shit in the name of God.

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Anne Francis, Dead at 80

In MemoriumAnne Francis was 80. She was the love interest in the 1950s science-fiction classic "Forbidden Planet" and later was a sexy private eye in "Honey West" on TV.

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Pete Postlethwaite, Dead at 64

In MemoriumPete Postlethwaite was 64. He was the Oscar-nominated actor who starred in "Inception" and "The Usual Suspects."

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Canada 4, Switzerland 1

Canada HockeyThis one actually scared me for a bit. Switzerland scored early on an absolutely brutal goal for Mark Visentin to allow and Swiss goalie Benjamin Conz looked like Martin Gerber circa 2006.

But then, the universe righted itself, as it's apt to do. Ryan Johansen tied the score 1-1 and then Casey Cizakas and Louis Leblanc gave us the lead and a little breathing room. Zack Kassian scored into an empty net to send Canada into the semi-finals against the USA.

Who should start in net for Canada: Olivier Roy or Mark Visentin?

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Can CTV Change FLOW 93.5's Format?

radioCHUM Radio, a division of CTVglobemedia, has acquired CFXJ-FM b.k.a. The New FLOW 93.5. They're wondering at SOWNY whether changes are imminent.

Even though I've never listened to FLOW 93.5, I'm intrigued. FLOW 93.5's license specifically states they play "urban music". Here's one of the conditions from Decision CRTC 2000-203.

The new station will offer an "Urban Music" musical format, targeted to an audience aged 25 to 44. Milestone stated that the format would be a "modern-day reflection of the rich musical traditions of Black musicians and Black-influenced music over at least the past century". The new station will add diversity to the musical genres available to Toronto audiences by exploring rhythm & blues (R&B), hip-hop and all the sub-groups of R&B, plus reggae and calypso, both of which are popular in the Toronto market but not currently heard to a great extent on any local or out-of-market commercial stations.

CTV's acquisition of FLOW 93.5 was just approved December 23rd in Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-964. In this decision, the CRTC reiterated that the original conditions still apply.

The Commission approves the application by CTV Limited for authority to acquire, from Milestone Radio Inc. (Milestone), the assets of the English-language commercial radio station CFXJ-FM Toronto and for a new broadcasting licence to continue the operation of the station under the same conditions as those in effect under the current licence.

It seems clear to me that FLOW 93.5, as owned by CTV, still has to offer "a modern-day reflection of the rich musical traditions of Black musicians and Black-influenced music". They can't just go country or modern rock or indie here... they have an enforced mandate, even if that means copping out with rhythmic top 40 a.k.a. lots of Usher, Rihanna and Drake.

What will CTV do with FLOW 93.5?

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NBC's Disappointing Winter Classic Coverage

puckI just watched the first period of the Penguins and Capitals from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. I realize there's a Leafs game on, but it's the Winter Classic and I'm a sucker for events, even silly made-for-TV sporting events, and the HBO 24/7 series actually had me psyched for this one. Besides, the Leafs are handling the Sens with ease.

Because the Leafs game was on CBC here in Toronto, I watched most of the first period on NBC. It was horrible. Not just the commentary, which was clearly aimed at the non-fan or casual fan, but the camera angles. NBC keeps going to this aerial shot that is so distant it's impossible to follow the action. They keep going to this shot because they can, and normal games are indoors, making such stunts impossible, but they're going to it far too often and for far too long.

Even when we're not getting the aerial shot, it feels like the camera is simple too far away. I've been watching hockey on television for thirty years and I'm having trouble following the play. How is a non-fan or casual fan supposed to enjoy the game?

It's also dingy. I didn't notice how dingy it was until I switched to the CBC feed. The CBC feed was bright, close to the action and far superior.

I get it... sorta.... For NBC, the star of this show is that it's outdoors and played in a football stadium. Hence the long distance shots. For CBC, it's the Pens vs. Caps and we're getting standard angles and proven shots. It makes for better hockey.

It's just a shame we showcase our game on NBC and don't look our best. No wonder Americans are so indifferent to the greatest sport in the world.


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Top Organic Search Keywords for December 2010

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

  1. toronto mike
  2. teri polo death
  3. mark daly city tv
  4. jason barr
  5. girl talk all day sample list
  6. what happened to jason barr
  7. mark dailey
  8. christmas playlist
  9. the champ
  10. big shiny tunes 2

Teri Polo is not dead, even though the rumours of her demise were kicked up a notch when another Fockers movie hit theatres. Mark Dailey, sadly, did pass away.

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calendarToday is January 1, 2011. Or 1-1-11, if you prefer. That's my preference, because cool numerological dates like this don't come around every day.

I could bury you in details as to what all those ones mean and what some say they symbolize. We're talking mystics and the fact that 1111 is the sum of the digits of the first 100 prime numbers, but what really matters is this...

The date 1-1-11 looks damn cool. Wait until November 11th of this year when I write about the exciting 11-11-11!

Happy 1-1-11.

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