November 2011 Archives

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9th Blogaversary

birthdayIt was nine years ago today that I changed my personal home page into a blog. In the world of blogging, nine years is actually pretty impressive, if I do say so myself. The vast majority of your favourite blogs started well after November 30, 2002.

The Tale of the Tape

  • # of entries (including this one): 11,041
  • # of comments (excluding comment spam): 36,837
  • Most comments on one entry (My Prima Television Nightmare): 620
  • Most visited page (excluding the home page): 100 Wedding Songs (112,558 Pageviews)

As a blogaversary gift, please let me know in the comment how you found this blog in the first place. I'd love to know.

Discuss "9th Blogaversary" (31 comments so far)

Kelly Cutrara

kelly cutraraA few weeks ago, when Fearless Fred went off on me on Humble and Fred Radio, Kelly Cutrara jumped to my defense. Don't believe me? Here she is assuring Fearless Fred that I'm really a good guy.

Download MP3

At the close of that bit, Kelly asks me to write about her. This entry about Kelly Cutrara is long overdue...

Kelly Cutrara took over for Maie Pauts on CFNY / Edge 102.1, following the Humble and Fred show every weekday. If my memory serves me correctly, she left Edge 102.1 for Mix 99.9 before moving over to do talk on 1010 CFRB. She then did a stint on CBC Radio 2 and now she sits in on Humble and Fred Radio every Tuesday and Thursday.


And believe me when I tell you, Kelly Cutrara is a good gal and she's looking for work. Contact me with job offers for the lovely Kelly Cutrara.

Discuss "Kelly Cutrara" (26 comments so far)

Daily Photo: First Snow

picturesI'm going to take a photo every day, and share it here. I can't promise I'll post one every single day, but I'll try. My goal is to find beauty in the ordinary.

2011-11-30 12.50.29.jpg

Alert the local media, Toronto got its first snowfall of the year this morning. Today's photo offers indisputable proof.

Discuss "Daily Photo: First Snow" (1 comment so far)

Patrice O'Neal, Dead at 41

In MemoriumPatrice O'Neal was 41. He was best known for his work as a stand-up comedian but also appeared in several films like "25th Hour," "Scary Movie 4" and "Furry Vengeance."

The Comedy Central Roast curse lives on.

Discuss "Patrice O'Neal, Dead at 41" (2 comments so far)

Elvis Costello Doesn't Want You to Buy His Box Set

cdOn December 6, a new Elvis Costello box set entitled "The Return Of The Spectacular Spinning Songbook" will be available, but Elvis Costello doesn't want you to buy it. From his blog:

Unfortunately, we at find ourselves unable to recommend this lovely item to you as the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire.

All our attempts to have this number revised have been fruitless but rather than detain you with tedious arguments about morality, panache and book-keeping - when there are really bigger fish to filet these days - we are taking the following unusual step.

If you should really want to buy something special for your loved one at this time of seasonal giving, we can whole-heartedly recommend, “Ambassador Of Jazz” - a cute little imitation suitcase, covered in travel stickers and embossed with the name “Satchmo” but more importantly containing TEN re-mastered albums by one of the most beautiful and loving revolutionaries who ever lived – Louis Armstrong.

The box should be available for under one hundred and fifty American dollars and includes a number of other tricks and treats. Frankly, the music is vastly superior.

If on the other hand you should still want to hear and view the component parts of the above mentioned elaborate hoax, then those items will be available separately at a more affordable price in the New Year, assuming that you have not already obtained them by more unconventional means.

So don't buy Elvis's box set, steal it instead. But buy Louis Armstrong, he's okay with that.

Discuss "Elvis Costello Doesn't Want You to Buy His Box Set" (2 comments so far)

Cold Pizza

foodI'm about to eat leftover pizza. I'll take it straight from the fridge onto a plate, and then I'll devour it in about 30-seconds.

I won't heat it, I'll eat it cold. I always eat leftover pizza cold.

Does anyone else out there eat their leftover pizza cold or am I the only one?

Discuss "Cold Pizza" (17 comments so far)

Daily Photo: Wheel Loader at Night

picturesI'm going to take a photo every day, and share it here. I can't promise I'll post one every single day, but I'll try. My goal is to find beauty in the ordinary.

2011-11-28 20.18.26.jpg

I've always enjoyed looking at wheel loaders. There's something particularly romantic about a parked wheel loader at night in the cold November rain.

Discuss "Daily Photo: Wheel Loader at Night" (0 comments so far)

Joe Kapp vs. Angelo Mosca

cflJoe Kapp is a CFL legend, but is now 73-years old. Angelo Mosca is also a CFL legend, and he's now 74-years old. Their rivalry continues to this day, as evidenced by this fight at the CFL Alumni Legends Luncheon in Vancouver on Friday.

Before you label Kapp as the instigator, remember that Mosca told him to stick the flower up his ass. What would you do?

Discuss "Joe Kapp vs. Angelo Mosca" (6 comments so far)

More Observations By FRUSTRATED AT 50

guest blogLast week, a reader who calls himself herself FRUSTRATED AT 50 wrote a guest blog about his her difficulties finding a job. Last I checked there were 45 comments on that entry, which either means FRUSTRATED AT 50 struck a chord or he's she's paying his her friends to comment.

FRUSTRATED AT 50 has written a second entry, and this one is about you damn kids!!! (shakes fist). Enjoy.

Has anyone noticed how rude people in our society have become? Why are older people not treated by the younger generation with the dignity and respect they deserve? From what I can see, young people treat eveyone equally =- there is no longer any distinction between those that are older , and those their own age, parents included, They seem to really make no distinction based on age - how sad!

Growing up, we were taught to revere and respect those older than us . In our world, there does not only seem to be a lack of respect for those older, but, for authority figures in general . Is that the fault of how we are raising these kids, is it the world in which these kids are living , is it the fractured families and high divorce rates? what is it? the influence of the media ? the music ? are the old ways of treating others, no longer applicable in todays world?

How about driving on our roads these days? When was the last time you were needing to merge into another lane, only to have other cars speed up , deliberately, just not to let you in!? And how about when someone does let you in , what happened to the wave of thanks , no wave , no thank you.

What ever happened to "please" and "thank you" - a thing of the past too ? And " you are welcome" has been replaced by" no problem" = what is that???

Holding doors open for the person ahead of you or behind you = is that a thing of the past ? I have had the door, slammed right in my face , by the person ahead of me, clearly oblivious to their ignorance.

And how about addressing adults or people in authority as Mr. or Mrs. Ms. - everyone is on a first name basis with everyone, regardless of age .....teachers, parents, receptionists, everyone is addressed , as if they know you personally, regardless of whether they do or do not.

What about parking in a busy parking lot? What happened to whoever got there first, deserves the spot - how many times have people aggressively grabbed the spot you were so patiently and courteously waiting for?

And how about movie theaters and people having their cell phones ringing or worse, their blackberry screens lighting up all over the theatre , like a Christmas tree? And what about the people in the theatres that are commenting on everything that appears on the screen throughout the movie?

And what about your neigbors who cannot be bothered to walk their dogs and instead put them out in their backyards, while all the neigbors need to listen to this dog bark incessantly and disturb all the neigbors around for miles? Until these dog owners decide that they now are good and ready to let the dog back in the house and restore peace to the neighbourhood .

How about the neigbors who decide to start their lawn-mowing/snowblowing at 6 am on a Sunday morning? How about consideration - does it still exist? and it is usually those same people who encourage their children to play on their driveways with basketballs at 6 am on a Sunday morning!

And let's talk about a well advertised super sale in a store where there are hundreds of shoppers vying for the same item only to get trampled .........again with no apologies ? It seems as if our society and the people in it, no longer expect decent behaviour. It seems anything goes.

How about granchildren that are so self consumed that when their grandparents call them on their cell phones, and leave messages, those calls are not even returned - do people in their 80's now need to text their grandchildren to get their attention? how sad is that! What about going out of your way to visit those same grandparents that they cannot be bothered to call back = drop by and say hello - that too, is unheard of!!

And don' t get me talking about the age of screening your callers, letting your answering machine pick up your calls and no longer needing to actually take the calls - what happened to the days of not knowing who was calling and actually picking up the phone and being surprised and delighted by the call? are those days done too???

What else ? let' s see = how about snapping your fingers at a waiter to get their attention - I am sure that has been happening forever, but truly, it is the height of rudeness.

What about this new thing of when you are wrong and have hurt another person that it seems not to phase some folks? Have we become so desensitized in our world that we no longer care about the next guy?

Should we go back to my favourite topic of job hunting in today's work world? Where you show up for the interview earlier than scheduled, hoping to make a good impression, and find yourself having to wait at least a half hour beyond your scheduled time - payback for you being early - presumably!!

How about when you leave voice messages for people and it takes them days and sometimes a week to call back, claiming they are so busy and did not have a minute - are they the only ones that are busy?? - presumably!!

I hate that term = " busy " - it is , as far as I can see, the translation for= "cannot be bothered "- translation - you don't matter to me.

I guess what I am trying to get at, is that, it would appear in my opinion, that being well mannered and polite is no longer the norm in the world we are living in. It seems that everyone acts independently, often with no regard for those around us.

When I started asking friends and family , for their thoughts on this topic, they overwhelmingly agreed that decency and care for others seems really to have gone by the wayside.

Your thoughts ? Your experiences? Your beefs? Do share !!!

Discuss "More Observations By FRUSTRATED AT 50" (49 comments so far)

When Siskel Changed His Vote

tvI've been honest about my love for Siskel and Ebert. They've closed the balcony, but there are still a tonne of memories left behind, including this time in 1996 when Gene Siskel reversed his thumb in the middle of taping.

Embedding disabled - click to watch

The movie was Broken Arrow, a forgettable action flick as I recall, and for the first and only time in the show's history, a reviewer reversed his decision after being persuaded by the other.

Ebert was right. Siskel was a wise man to change course, I just wish he had done that after reviewing Gross Pointe Blank.

Discuss "When Siskel Changed His Vote" (1 comment so far)

Daily Photo: Mind Warfare

picturesI'm going to take a photo every day, and share it here. I can't promise I'll post one every single day, but I'll try. My goal is to find beauty in the ordinary.

2011-11-27 12.26.33.jpg

This photo was taken in the men's washroom at Bowlerama West on Dundas. There is indeed a war going on for your mind.

Discuss "Daily Photo: Mind Warfare" (10 comments so far)

Why This Raptors Fan Was Rooting For the Lockout

nbaNBA players and owners tentatively agreed on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement early this morning and a 66 game season will start on Christmas Day. As a Raptors fan, I was rooting for the lockout.

This is going to be a lost season for Raptor fans. Bryan Colangelo is in the midst of another rebuild, working to have as much as $24 million in salary cap flexibility for the 2012-2013 season. That certainly won't help us during this abbreviated season.

Take a look at our current roster. Sure, we all like how DeMar DeRozan keeps getting better, but what really does Dwane Casey have to work with? What real hope is there that we squeak into the playoffs? Slim to none, and slim just caught a Greyhound to Cleveland.


At least there will be playoffs at the ACC this spring. That's right, I'm calling it. Go Leafs Go!

Discuss "Why This Raptors Fan Was Rooting For the Lockout" (6 comments so far)

Daily Photo: Picnic Tables

picturesI'm going to take a photo every day, and share it here. I can't promise I'll post one every single day, but I'll try. My goal is to find beauty in the ordinary.

2011-11-26 13.33.32.jpg

I found these picnic tables stacked for the winter in Port Credit this afternoon.

Discuss "Daily Photo: Picnic Tables" (8 comments so far)

Daily Photo: Truck Service

picturesI'm so pleased with the camera built into my new Samsung Galaxy phone, it's given me an idea...

I'm going to take a photo every day, and share it here. I can't promise I'll post one every single day, but I'll try. My goal is to find beauty in the ordinary.

Truck Service

On this gorgeous late-November Friday, I was walking on North Queen when I spotted this sign for Truck Service. I've likely passed this sign dozens of times, but today it seemed rather beauteous.

Discuss "Daily Photo: Truck Service" (12 comments so far)

A Better Approach for Jimmy

wikipediaI don't doubt the fact that Wikipedia needs money, but I think there's a better approach than the right-justified Jimmy Wales we're all seeing every day.


Which begs the question, how did I write so many essays in high school and university without Wikipedia?

Discuss "A Better Approach for Jimmy" (4 comments so far)

1983 Video Game Preview

rewindCheck out what's hot in 1983.

[via Retrontario]

Discuss "1983 Video Game Preview" (1 comment so far)

Corus Owns 'Humble and Fred', Sends Letter Requesting Money

humble and fredHumble and Fred received a letter from Corus Entertainment Inc. this morning. It was from one of Corus's "Trade-mark Agents" and it was to the attention of Howard Glassman and Fred Patterson at Humble and Fred Worldwide Studios.

I've seen the letter, in fact I have a copy, and here's what it says:

As you may know, Corus Radio Company owns the Canadian Trade-mark registration for HUMBLE AND FRED (Registration No. TMA501188) in connection with the following services:

"Entertainment services through operation of a radio station providing services including radio broadcasting; gathering, producing, programming and disseminating of music, news, information, public service messages and entertainment in all forms for radio; radio broadcasting services and related commentary and news broadcast on radio."

We understand that you have registered the domain name and have started your own internet show as of October 15, 2011.

In light of the fact that Corus owns the HUMBLE AND FRED trade-mark, we are writing to propose a Trade-mark assignment of the above noted registration to you. This assignment will transfer Corus' ownership of the registration to Humble and Fred Worldwide Studios. We request a payment of $5,000 in consideration of this assignment.

If the above is acceptable, please let us know. We will promptly prepare the Trade-mark assignment agreement for your review. The assignment, once finalized, will be submitted to the Canadian Trade-mark Office so that the change in ownership can be recorded.

Humble and Fred called this Trade-mark Agent, who has advised them that it's not a joke and they've owned the trade-mark since 1998. What's interesting to me is that Humble and Fred appeared on a rival station, Mix 99.9, for years using that name, and Corus seemed completely fine with it, but now that Humble and Fred are podcasting, it's no longer cool.

Corus Entertainment wants something for Humble and Fred's use of the name Humble and Fred, and they've named their price: a whopping $5,000.

Discuss among yourselves....

Discuss "Corus Owns 'Humble and Fred', Sends Letter Requesting Money " (61 comments so far)

Bill Carroll or Jimmy Wales?

radioBill Carroll was on Humble and Fred Radio today. He used to be a pretty big deal on CFRB and now he's kicking ass on KFI in Los Angeles. I know that, because I visited his Wikipedia page earlier today.

Wikipedia is featuring a new round of personal appeals from Jimmy Wales, only this time his face is left justified. It just looks strange, and in this instance, I couldn't tell if it was a picture of Jimmy Wales or Bill Carroll.

bill carroll

On that same Wikipedia page, is this picture of Bill Carroll.


Separated at birth?

Discuss "Bill Carroll or Jimmy Wales?" (6 comments so far)

FRUSTRATED AT 50 Writes a Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to mike (at) I received the following entry from FRUSTRATED AT 50.


Have any of you been left in the position of losing your job at 50 or so and having to make your way back into a world where our experience is no longer valued, where our opinions no longer matter and where recent university graduates are seen as more desirable candidates than us?

Here we are sitting with over 30 years of valuable work experience and no one seems to want it. The job ads that are posted list qualifications and experience that we have never even heard of. Who ever heard of needing a degree to be a salesperson? How about trying to reply to a job ad where your resume seems to get lost in a black hole to never be seen or heard from again? how about making those dreaded follow-up calls after your resume has been sent, in hopes that you may distinguish yourself from the other 500 candidates that submitted their resumes as well. Not only is that frowned upon but your call is usually met with the dreaded icy tone of voice that stipulates very clearly that the expected protocol is to sit tight and wait and if they are interested they will get back to you - in other words = do not call us and rarely do you ever hear back from them.

As a result. we continue to lose sleep night after night, wondering how we are going to pay our rent/ pay our mortgage, feed our family, pay our bills and keep the bill collectors at bay and will we ever be able to retire ? well the grey hair continues to cover our already thinning, greying manes and we continue to remain in the ranks of over 1 million unemployed canadians.

The question begs - - how many of those ages 45-70 are there of us out there ? We are all making a honest effort to secure employment with the best of intentions, have very strong work ethics acquired over all those years in the workforce, yet keep running into brick walls.

Recently, I interviewed for a very low paying job with a non profit organization. After the interview and a brief conversation in the interim, I had not heard back from the organization for close to three weeks, so decided to drop them a note. During the interview they reminded me how lucky I am to be there as I was one of the three finalists and that they were looking to hire immediately. Sounded great even though it was a minimum wage job. I guess the days of making a living that would be in line with a salary that reflects all my years of experience may be gone - .....At any rate, I sent them an email , after a time , inquiring about the job status and was sent back a perfunctory note that read - you were not selected. Thank you,. Is this what the world is coming to ? no decency -no consideration- could the employer at some point during the 3 weeks not have sent me a note and let me know that it looks like they are going with someone else so that i not sit and hold out hope to get a minimum wage job that will barely realistically cover any of my expenses? I guess my 30 years in the work force was clearly not sufficient to perform the job at hand!!!

Apparently, we are living in very tough times but does that mean that common decency and courtesy get thrown out the window and we are forced to now accept the new work world reality where employers feel they have the upper hand and don't have to extend common courtesy to applicants out there?

When I started asking others about their experiences, many lamented and agreed and shared their mutual horror job hunting stories. It would appear that we could use a forum where those in this age gropu realize that there are others and perhaps may force employers to reevaluate their methods and lack of sensitivity. It could be them one day on the unemployment line - did that ever occur to them - it has happened to the best of us!!This is actually where the idea of writing a blog to reach out to those that are living this and really get it.

How about your friends and relatives that are employed and full of useless suggestions that are neither realistic, practical nor make sense. It seems they are the first to offer suggestions and judgements. More often than not , the suggestions they make are not ones they themselves would do but somehow it is is ok for you to do. How about the blame game - according to them there must be something wrong with your job hunting methods - did it ever occur to anyone that there are more capable people out there today THAN jobs and it is really that simple???? as the expression goes - walk a mile in my shoes.......

I would like to believe that there is a place for those of us 45 and older that lost our jobs during the recession and have been scrambling ever since to try and secure something of equivalent value - - does it mean now that all those years that we worked and struggled to climb the corporate ladder now mean that our skills are no longer wanted and that we need to now settle for minimum wage jobs and go full circle back to where we were at 16? how did this all happen??????????? I have been to job search workshops, redid my resume three times, joined numerous network events that I could ill afford , and have been doing all that you are supposed to do as an unemployed person.You try the soft approach - you try the more aggressive route= either way it is a no win.

And so it goes the next day you sit down in front of your computer for another 5 hour day of non stop searching the internet for the one job that one day may be yours? I dont; know about anyone else but it is getting harder and harder with each passing day to keep up with this routine that bears no fruit despite all the effort.

Where does that leave us ?? what are you people OVER 45 out there finding ? I would love to hear from you!!!

Discuss "FRUSTRATED AT 50 Writes a Guest Blog Entry" (45 comments so far)

The Crosby Demand: Giving the People What They Want

hockeyDid you catch the game last night? Sidney Crosby returned after battling post-concussion syndrome for 11 months and played like the best player in the world. Two goals and two assists later, it was the water cooler topic of choice for millions in this country.

My buddy Pete is completely disinterested in the Sidney Crosby story, and he doesn't understand why it's getting so much coverage. Here's our Twitter debate on the subject:


This coverage doesn't surprise me in the least. Generally speaking, Canadians love hockey, and Crosby isn't just any run-of-the-mill NHLer. He's our best, a national hero and the biggest name playing the game today, and in this country, that's going to create humongous demand.

And not just from puck heads like me. I've had a few conversations with casual fans who usually don't clue in until the Stanley Cup finals, and they were all about Crosby's comeback and 4-point effort. I believe the coverage is warranted, and media outlets are merely giving the people what they want.

What do you think? Is this too much Crosby?

Discuss "The Crosby Demand: Giving the People What They Want" (14 comments so far)

Like This Site On Facebook, Please

FacebookDo me a quick favour?

Can you Like this site on Facebook by clicking the "Like" button below?

Thanks. I owe you one.

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An Entry For Me To Make My Eyes Sweat

picturesAt the tail end of my 2011 Santa Claus Parade recap, I linked to my recaps of the previous 7 parades. Each time I attend a parade with my kids, I try to photograph every float and I put together a Flickr photoset. Every photoset includes at least one shot of my kids watching the parade. That got me thinking...

With the boy only a couple of months away from reaching double-digits, and his days at the parade with daddy numbered, what would my eyes do if I put all of these shots in succession. Would my eyes sweat? I'll let you know after the pics...


Toronto Santa Clause Parade 2004


Toronto Santa Claus Parade 2005




At the Parade




2009 Santa Claus Parade


2010 Santa Claus Parade



Yep, my eyes are sweating.

Discuss "An Entry For Me To Make My Eyes Sweat" (7 comments so far)

2011 Toronto Santa Claus Parade

santaI took the kids to the 2011 Santa Claus Parade today. It was my eighth parade in a row, and the weather was the best yet. It was sunny and nice all afternoon, which sure beats the rain / snow combo we were hit with a few years ago.

I took these photos just North of Dundas on the West side of University. We'll be back next year.















Here are my recaps of the last seven Toronto Santa Claus Parades I attended.

Discuss "2011 Toronto Santa Claus Parade" (6 comments so far)

Open Mike, Yo!

microphoneThe weekend's here! The weekend's here!

Use the comments of this entry to discuss that amazing fact, or anything you want. Or ask me anything... I'm really smart.


Go nuts!

Discuss "Open Mike, Yo!" (45 comments so far)

Polymer Porn: Canada's Sexy New $100 Bill

moneyHave you got your hands on one of our new $100 bills yet? It's made out of a single sheet of plastic polymer and it's totally pimped out.

Canada will introduce plastic $50 notes in March, and plastic $5 and $10 bills will come out by the end of 2013.

Now that's hot.

Discuss "Polymer Porn: Canada's Sexy New $100 Bill" (10 comments so far)

What I Never Knew About Annie Leibovitz's Shot of John Lennon and Yoko Ono

picturesEverybody knows the iconic photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono in bed taken by Annie Leibovitz for Rolling Stone magazine, but did you know this pic was taken only 5 hours before John Lennon was shot?

I had no idea.

By the way, Mark David Chapman has thus far cheated us of thirty-one years of John Lennon's music. That really, really sucks.

Discuss "What I Never Knew About Annie Leibovitz's Shot of John Lennon and Yoko Ono" (8 comments so far)

Always Fight Your Traffic Tickets in Court

justiceI was in traffic court this afternoon. I arrived at 2700 Eglinton just before 1:30 and was out of there by 2pm. If you get a traffic ticket, for speeding or failing to stop at a stop sign or anything at all, always go to court.

I've heard stories about people's charges being dropped because the police officer failed to show up at court, but my police office has always shown up. Every time without failure I've plead guilty to a lesser charged, paid a smaller fine and gone on my way. That's every time until today...

Today, both my charges were dropped. I was ninth before the judge, and witnessed the first eight plead guilty to lesser offences. I was prepared to do the same, and was quite surprised when the Crown withdrew both charges. Today was my lucky day.


If you voluntarily pay the full amount for a traffic ticket and incur the demerit point reductions, you're a fool. Toronto Mike says always fight your traffic tickets in court.

Discuss "Always Fight Your Traffic Tickets in Court" (119 comments so far)

Two Questions About Last Night's Game

leafsI was at the Leafs game yesterday, and I have two brief questions.

Question 1:
Prior to the singing of the national anthems, I saw the ACC staff carry the rolled up massive Canadian flag so the fans could hold it over their heads and pass it along. I saw this done on opening night, and it was spectacular. Only on this night, they changed their minds and never opened up the flag.

My question is, did they decide too few fans were in their seats for this to work? Somebody called it off, and I'm just wondering why.

Question 2:
I was in the 300 section, so I could see televisions duplicating what's shown on the main scoreboard. These televisions showed the score heading into overtime as "Away Team: 2" and "Home Team: 2".

In this day and age, was there really no way to customize that any further? At the very least, they know the home team will always be the Leafs. Why must these televisions display Away Team and Home Team?

Just wondering. Here's a picture I took on opening night of the aforementioned flag carry. It's pretty awesome to watch.

Discuss "Two Questions About Last Night's Game" (8 comments so far)

When I'm On Jeopardy...

tvWhen I appear on the Tournament of Champions, this is precisely without a doubt how I intend to roll.

That's Roger Craig's Double True Daily Doubles (TDD's) at the 2011 Tournament of Champions. The man has big balls.

Discuss "When I'm On Jeopardy..." (8 comments so far)

GelaSkins for Samsung Galaxy and TouchPad

thumbsupI like GelaSkins. Back in 2008, I slapped a "Come On Canada!" GelaSkin on my iPod Touch and it's still there. I love it.

Since then, I've added two new devices to my digital life: a Samsung Galaxy S II and an HP TouchPad tablet. Now they've both got removable skins as well.


If you need another reason to like GelaSkins, look no further than the fact they're located in The Junction.

Discuss "GelaSkins for Samsung Galaxy and TouchPad" (0 comments so far)

Michelle's Letter to Santa: Translation Required

giftMy sweet 7-year old has written a letter for Santa. It's ready to hand-deliver to the big guy next Sunday at the parade.

I cracked open the envelope to see what she wants. Protip for kids: Even though you're writing Santa, let your parents see it before you seal the envelope.

Michelle's Santa letter

I think I've got part of it... she wants a bed for her two dolls, pajamas, some video game for her DS and a bug friend of some kind. Can anyone help me translate?

Discuss "Michelle's Letter to Santa: Translation Required" (10 comments so far)

When I Enter the HHOF...

nhlWhen I Enter the Hockey Hall of Fame, I'm going to show up a little unshaven and wearing my favourite leather jacket, just like Eddie Belfour.


Similar to the way I accepted my Gemini award.

Discuss "When I Enter the HHOF..." (9 comments so far)

It's Way, Way Too Early for Christmas Music

christmasI'm told Hamilton's 102.9 K-Lite has already gone all-Christmas music through December 25. It's way, way too early for that.

If you're a station that's planning on going all-Christmas, it should be illegal to do so the day after Remembrance Day. In my humble opinion, stations should be forced to wait until December 1st.


What do you think? When's the earliest a station should start playing Christmas music?

Discuss "It's Way, Way Too Early for Christmas Music" (27 comments so far)

The Motts and Me: Friends Forever?

itunesThe Motts were a popular husband and wife radio duo on CFRB for years and years until they were let go by Astral back in August of 2009. They're now podcasting daily at

I've been working with Humble and Fred, who are now podcasting daily at, and when Carol Motts heard I had the guys in the iTunes store, she reached out.

When The Motts call, you accept the charges. I'm happy to share the news that you can now subscribe to the Motts on iTunes and Carol is now managing her own XML feed.

I don't think there's any conflict of interest here, there's very, very little overlap between The Motts' target audience and Humble and Fred's target audience. if you've heard both shows, you'll know what I mean.

But, I'd be remiss if I didn't remind you to listen to Humble and Fred radio. Subscribe and give it a whirl. It might just change the way you listen to radio.

Toronto Mike: Podcast consultant to the stars.

Discuss "The Motts and Me: Friends Forever?" (2 comments so far)

Charlie Lea, Dead at 54

In MemoriumCharlie Lea was 54. He posted a 62-48 record with 535 strikeouts and a 3,54 ERA in 923.1 innings over seven MLB seasons, pitching a no-hitter for the Montreal Expos in 1981.

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Rickard's Beer Arrives, What's Your Favourite Beer?

beerI wanted to thank Rickard's for the tee shirt and Taster's 4-pack they just sent me as part of their Movember promotion for prostate cancer awareness and fundraising. The following arrived this morning.


Their 4-pack includes:

  • Rickard's Red
  • Rickard's White
  • Rickard's Dark
  • Rickard's Blonde

What do you guys think of Rickard's beer? What's your favourite beer?

Discuss "Rickard's Beer Arrives, What's Your Favourite Beer?" (26 comments so far)

11.11.11 Remembrance

poppyOn the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians are asked to pause and remember the thousands of men and women who sacrificed their lives fighting for freedom and democracy during the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Afghanistan conflict and during peacekeeping missions.

I've scoured my site for relevant entries. Here are some you may want to revisit today.

Here are some entries about Alfred Finley, a veteran and familiar face in Bloor West Village for many years.

And to those who served, or are serving this great country right now, I have one word: Thanks.

Discuss "11.11.11 Remembrance" (3 comments so far)

D-Day to Victory

poppyMy friend Julie works for the company that helped build I quite like it, and wanted to share it before 11/11/11.

On the website, users follow the Allies, tracing their path from Normandy to Berlin on an interactive map interface, and exploring the key events that led to victory. The site depicts the intensity of war and its physical and emotional impact through innovative 3D scenes that visualize 'exploded views' of the attacks.

Within each 3D scene, users can access video interviews with the surviving heroes, their bios and artifacts.

It really puts everything in perspective. As Diefenbunker Tour Guide just said, it's time to start spreading the honey.

Discuss " D-Day to Victory" (2 comments so far)

Bil Keane, Dead at 89

In MemoriumBil Keane was 89. He created the comic strip "Family Circus" which began its run in 1960 and continues in syndication.

If you're like me, you were a much bigger fan of "The Dysfunctional Family Circus".


Discuss "Bil Keane, Dead at 89" (4 comments so far)

Heavy D, Dead at 44

In MemoriumHeavy D was 44. He was the former leader of the hip-hop group Heavy D and the Boyz who recorded the hits "Somebody for Me", "Gyrlz, They Love Me" and "Now That We Found Love".

I heard "Now That We Found Love" on Slacker Radio's '90s Hip Hop station just last week and wondered what had become of Heavy D. I was always partial to his contribution to Michael Jackson's "Jam".

Discuss "Heavy D, Dead at 44" (0 comments so far)

Fearless Fred Really, Really Hates Me

radioI just listened to today's episode of Humble and Fred Radio. At about the 30 minute mark, between some typically hilarious banter and a great performance by 54-40, guest Fearless Fred from Edge 102 goes off on me. You have to hear this 5:27 of audio to believe it.

Listen to Fearless Fred Go Off On Toronto Mike

Download MP3

As I was listening to Fearless Fred, I really felt for him. He's clearly emotional and carrying a great deal of hate for this site and me. Of course, as with any interview, a great deal of context is missing. Before you decide to join Fearless Fred in hating me, please hear me out...

In May of 2009, Edge 102 fired a couple of very popular deejays. Of course I wrote about it, Martin Streek was fired after working at CFNY forever. I don't have to tell you what happened a couple of months later. Martin Streek hanged himself.

That was tragic, and in no way did I ever suggest Fearless Fred had anything to do with Martin Streek's suicide, but he was hired when Streek and Barry Taylor were fired, so I wrote about it.

I just re-read that entry, unedited since I first published it on August 8, 2009. I didn't write anything negative about him at all. I just broke the news he was coming from Edmonton and speculated as to where he'd be dropped in the lineup. That's it until I read something he wrote about me on a comedy blog. He went off on this blog because of some negative comments posted by readers. Fearless Fred, it seems, attributes the opinions expressed in the comments to me.

I only wrote about Fearless Fred one other time. I admitted I don't know shit about radio, because I didn't dig Fred's schtick and thought Barry Taylor had the same schtick, only funnier. I expressed my opinion, something I'm apt to do on this site. There were no personal attacks, and no lines crossed.

And that's my final point to Fearless Fred. I've never, ever written a single word about your wife or family. I never cross that line. I spoke about you as a radio host, a public figure, and merely commented on the situation at your radio station and your abilities as an on-air talent.

Fearless Fred really, really hates me, and that's a shame. I think Humble's right... I think we'd hit it off and like each other. It's just too bad Fred can't decipher between my words and actions and the opinions and actions of my readers.

Discuss "Fearless Fred Really, Really Hates Me" (74 comments so far)

Smokin' Joe Frazier, Dead at 67

In MemoriumSmokin' Joe Frazier was 67. He was the former boxing heavyweight champion who was the first man to beat Muhammad Ali.

Click play above to see the Fight of the Century from March 8, 1971, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.

Discuss "Smokin' Joe Frazier, Dead at 67" (0 comments so far)

My Way Late Angry Birds Rant

clockI meant to write this entry about 18 months ago, but I forgot. I've got something to say about Angry Birds...

I don't get it. Angry Birds has been absolutely everywhere since 2009, with several people I know and love claiming addiction to the game. My kids, for example, love Angry Birds. At least they did.

I tried Angry Birds, because it seemed to be the most downloaded game everywhere I turned. And it was everywhere: iPad, iPhone, Android, WebOS, Chrome, etc. Of course I tried it, and I'm betting you did as well.


You probably loved it, and played it over and over and over again. I played it twice and bailed due to boredom. I haven't been tempted to go back. I just didn't like it.

But it's everywhere. During Halloween, I saw kids dressed as Angry Birds and I saw pumpkins carved as Angry Birds. I'll bet they show up at the Santa Claus Parade in a couple of weeks.

I don't get it.

Discuss "My Way Late Angry Birds Rant" (13 comments so far)

Every Line of Dialogue in The Lost Boys is "Michael"

moviesOn the heels of the PS3 Michael ad comes this supercut that proves every line of dialogue in The Lost Boys is "Michael".


Discuss "Every Line of Dialogue in The Lost Boys is "Michael"" (0 comments so far)

Our New Streetcars

ttcThe TTC's new streetcars have been unveiled. Bombardier will design and build 204 of these light rail vehicles to replace the existing fleet of streetcars.


Here are some new LRV factoids:

  • Accessible
  • 100% low floor
  • More seats
  • Some wider seats
  • Boarding from all 4 doorways
  • Wide 2nd and 3rd doorways
  • Modern
  • Comfortable
  • Spacious
  • Large windows
  • Air conditioning, climate controlled
  • Bicycle accommodation


Discuss "Our New Streetcars" (8 comments so far)

Podcasting 101: How Humble and Fred Get Heard

podcastHumble and Fred Radio has been in the works for a while. In late July, Fred Patterson was dismissed by Corus, and the planning began in earnest. I managed to keep it completely on the QT until August 4th when I wrote Humble and Fred's Perfect Storm - A Radio Revolution?

It's a perfect storm of sorts. There is a plan for Humble and Fred, a future for the duo. No, I'm not about to announce they're the new morning show for < insert station here >, but they are on the brink of what I believe is a radio revolution.

Are you ready for Humble and Fred Radio?

We planned our attack over lunch, and shared the specifics with you all shortly thereafter. Humble and Fred were to record a show every weekday and share it with the world. That's where I came in.

Humble and Fred took care of the studio, perfecting the acoustics and setting up the mixing board and recording software. In other words, Humble and Fred were responsible for content and creating the .mp3 file each day, but I was responsible for ensuring the masses could easily access and hear that file. Here's how I did it....

The Savvy Will Subscribe
I wanted to take care of the savvy first. The savvy would want to subscribe to the podcast, via iTunes or an Android or Blackberry app. Luckily, there's an RSS 2.0 specification they all accept, although iTunes does recommend some additional iTunes-only tags. This RSS feed is an XML file, so I wrote one, made it easy to update via the CMS and taught Freddie P how to update it each day.

That feed can be found at and was submitted to the iTunes Store for approval. We were approved and that's how we got our own iTunes Store page.


If you're listening to the podcasts, you know there was a delay getting Thursday's episode in there. That's because Fred put the date as Thur instead of Thu. That's how sensitive the XML file is, but everything was corrected and updated by Friday afternoon.

Speaking of the iTunes Store updating, that's one of the frustrations. iTunes reads our XML file to update their store on a schedule only known to them. So Fred might update the XML file at 1pm, but the iTunes Store might not update until 3pm. I've learnt there's nothing we can do to force this iTunes Store update. All we can do is update our XML file and ensure we're adhering to the RSS 2.0 standards.

The Less Savvy Just Want to Push Play and Listen
The XML file satisfies the savvy subscribers, but there are plenty of Humble and Fred fans who just want to click a play button and hear the show. I licensed a Wimpy MP3 player for this purpose, and it lives at After Fred updates the XML file that drives subscriptions, he updates this Wimpy player, dummy-proofed in the CMS, not that Fred is a dummy. In fact, as I learnt when we launched, the man catches on quick!

The Wimpy player lets you list several episodes, so someone can just pick their episode from the list. By default, it auto-plays the most recent episode, but you can pause it and come back to it anytime. I'll often play episodes this way when I'm hacking away on the computer.

When All Else Fails
The XML file satisfies the subscribers and the Wimpy player satisfies most of the rest, but there needed to be one more catch-all that truly doesn't care what OS you're on, whether you can see Flash or not or what application you're going to use to play our MP3. I've been blogging 9 years because I love the format. Every entry gets a permalink that will never, ever change. That's the spirit behind this catch-all for sharing the Humble and Fred podcasts.

After every episode is recorded, converted to MP3 and uploaded to our coreFusion server, that episode is given its own blog entry on This permalink always includes a link to the MP3 file, so even if you can't see Flash on your device you can always download or stream the audio. I've yet to encounter a set-up where this didn't ensure Humble and Fred got heard.

And that's how we do it. It's a three-prong approach, and I'm quite proud of the design. It's holding up very, very nicely, if I do say so myself.

I grew up listening to Humble and Fred on CFNY, and I've been trying to find a morning show I like as much since they left for Mojo Radio. I'm honoured and tickled pink to be a part of Humble and Fred Radio, because it's the show I've been searching for this past decade.

The boys are back, and if you haven't heard them yet, you really have no excuse. If you're listening, how do you access the audio? If you're not listening, why aren't you?

Discuss "Podcasting 101: How Humble and Fred Get Heard" (20 comments so far)

Andy Rooney, Dead at 92

In MemoriumAndy Rooney was 92. His prickly wit was long a mainstay of CBS News and whose homespun commentary on "60 Minutes," delivered every week from 1978 until 2011, made him a household name.

I watched a lot of 60 Minutes over the past 20 years, but I didn't touch that dial until I heard what Andy had to say.

Discuss "Andy Rooney, Dead at 92" (2 comments so far)

For Jason's Mom

guestblogI received an email from Jason N. earlier today. Here it is...

Hi Mike

I hope you're doing well.

First I want to say that I really enjoy your blog, aside of Daily Dose of Imagery, it's the only Toronto blog I go to everyday. Keep up the good work.

I know that there are times when people have submitted guest entries in the past and I was wondering if I could do the same. I just wanted to get something off my chest I thought I could use your platform... If what I've written doesn't work or fit in with your blog, that's fine -  I'll understand.

10 and half weeks ago, my mom passed away. I took the time to write something short about how I feel and wondered if it would fly on Toronto Mike. If you do post it can you leave my last name off?

The entry is below:

This Monday will be 11 weeks since my mother took her last breath. Despite the fact that her battle with cancer lasted 7 years, it still feels so shocking and the sting is still strong. My mom was a great person and I will always miss her. I’ve been having a tough time the past few days and thought I would vent my feelings to the city of Toronto.

I don’t believe in heaven, and I don’t believe I will ever see my mother again. She’s dead and her existence is gone. I will continue to love her forever, but there is no evidence for me to believe pretty stories of seeing my mom again. I am lucky that I got to spend more than 31 years with one of the most special people I’ve ever known.

I will end with a Quote by the great Carl Sagan:

I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking. The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides. [Carl Sagan, 1996 in his article In the Valley of the Shadow Parade Magazine Also, Billions and Billions p. 215]

Discuss "For Jason's Mom" (10 comments so far)

You Just Don't Get It, Do You?

filmsCinema's most overused line very well may be "You just don't get it, do you?"

0:00 – 2:00

1. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
2. Breaking and Entering (2006)
3. Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007)
4. Annapolis (2006)
5. Daylight (1996)
6. Platoon (1986)
7. The Invincible Iron Man (2007)
8. Tooth Fairy (2010)
9. Hud (1963)
10. The General’s Daughter (1999)
11. Clockers (1995)
12. The Karate Kid, Part III (1989)
13. I Sell the Dead (2008)
14. Norbit (2007)
15. Cruel Intentions 3 (2004)
16. Danika (2006)
17. Meet the Browns (2008)
18. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
19. Music Within (2007)
20. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
21. In the Cut (2003)
22. Laws of Attraction (2004)
23. Married to the Mob (1988)
24. Stigmata (1999)
25. Is It Fall Yet? (2000)
26. Space Truckers (1996)

2:00 – 4:00

27. Speed (1994)
28. The Hottie & the Nottie (2008)
29. The Hottie & the Nottie (2008)
30. Unthinkable (2010)
31. Dead Ringers (1988)
32. Crows Zero (2007)
33. It’s a Boy Girl Thing (2006)
34. My Cousin Vinny (1992)
35. The Rookie (1990)
36. Kangaroo Jack (2003)
37. Stigmata (1999)
38. Four Lions (2010)
39. Insomnia (2002)
40. Supernova (2000)
41. Coraline (2009)
42. Frat Party (2009)
43. Jumper (2008)
44. Jumper (2008)
45. Scary Movie 4 (2006)
46. Shaft (2000)
47. Toy Story (1995)
48. The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
49. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)
50. So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)
51. Last Light (1993)
52. Eye of the Beast (2007)
53. Cliffhanger (1993)
54. ATL (2006)
55. Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005)

4:00 – 6:00

56. Hitch (2005)
57. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
58. The Prestige (2006)
59. After School Special (2003)
60. Particles of Truth (2003)
61. 25th Hour (2002)
62. After School Special (2003)
63. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
64. Sugarhouse (2007)
65. The Terminator (1984)
66. Mission: Impossible II (2000)
67. Monsters vs Aliens (2009)
68. And Then Came Lola (2009)
69. The Final Season (2007)
70. Mandragora (1997)
71. Miss Conception (2008)
72. Racing with the Moon (1984)
73. Garage Days (2002)
74. Soldier (1998)
75. The Second Civil War (1997)
76. RKO 281 (1999)
77. Gabriel (2007)
78. Shadow of Fear (2004)
79. Pinocchio 3000 (2004)
80. I Witness (2003)
81. Side Effects (2005)
82. XIII: The Conspiracy (2008)
83. The Quiet Family (1998)
84. Loch Ness (1996)


85. Covert One: The Hades Factor (2006)
86. Throttle (2005)
87. Spartan (2004)
88. The Truth About Love (2005)
89. Unknown (2006)
90. Out for Blood (2004)
91. After Sex (2007)
92. Three Can Play That Game (2007)
93. 100 Feet (2008)
94. Black Knight (2001)
95. Hot Rod (2007)
96. Payback (1999)
97. How to Deal (2003)
98. Another Gay Movie (2006)
99. Cheats (2002)
100. Exam (2009)
101. Like Minds (2006)
102. The General’s Daughter (1999)

Discuss "You Just Don't Get It, Do You?" (1 comment so far)

This Just Happened #leafsarethebest

nhlThe Leafs beat the Blue Jackets 4-1 tonight. That's when this happened.


That's right, our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs are currently sitting in first place overall. 30 teams in the league, only one leader. Jinx, schminx.

Discuss "This Just Happened #leafsarethebest" (31 comments so far)

Either People are Getting Dumber or Snopes Is Getting Dumber

snopesSnopes has been around forever, letting us know what's an urban legend and what's fact. I subscribe to the RSS feed for new Snopes items, and that's where I found this item this morning.


That claim, in case you're one of my many visually challenged readers, is "viewing a 3D porn film made a woman pregnant". That begs the question, are people getting dumber or is Snopes getting dumber?

I mean, really. Is there an adult alive who thought it might be possible to be impregnated by a movie?

Discuss "Either People are Getting Dumber or Snopes Is Getting Dumber" (22 comments so far)

The Comedy Network Logo Switcheroo

humourMy favourite blog for branding, Brand New, tells me our Comedy Network has been re-branded.

Here's the before and after Comedy Network logos.


As silly as the old logo was, the new one is simply too simple. It's the word "comedy" in lower case Gill Sans Ultra font. Nothing more. It's encouraging in that it's a logo I could have designed myself, but not the tour de force Bell Media would have you believe it is. Here's an excerpt from the press release.

Simple yet limitless in its potential use, the fun and colourful new branding for Comedy allows for the channel’s personalities to be integrated into applications of the new elements. […]

“Our ultimate goal with this rebrand is to develop a new look that’s fresh, spirited and has the versatility to work on every platform,” said Jon Arklay, Vice-President, Creative and Brand, Bell Media Agency. “Be it on-air, in print or on digital platforms, this is a new image that connects us with comedy in all media.”

Now that's comedy!

Discuss "The Comedy Network Logo Switcheroo" (13 comments so far)

iTunes Store and Newsletter Features...

itunesI realize there's been a lot of Humble and Fred Radio podcast content lately, but this project is only only a couple of weeks old and has already been one hulluva ride.

If you got your iTunes newsletter this month, you saw our little podcast featured alongside Susan Boyle and Deadwood. (insert joke here) Here's a screen cap.


And, the Humble and Fred Radio podcast is also featured on the main podcast page for iTunes. Here's how that looks. Click to embiggen.


Meanwhile, the boys have been all over the msm, appearing on Canada AM this morning and the new Global morning show last week. Not to mention Prime Time Sports and the Toronto Star... like I said, it's been a fun ride.

And if you actually want to read more about this project, as well as other Humble and Fred stuff from the past, visit

Discuss "iTunes Store and Newsletter Features..." (4 comments so far)

Knight Rider on Smoking Pot

potMichael Knight and K.I.T.T. don't want us using any illegal drugs. Not even weed.

There's something very amusing about this ad... maybe it's because The Hoff comes across as so condescending and hypocritical considering his own battles with alcohol. Of course, alcohol isn't an illegal drug, is it?

[via Retrontario]

Late breaking bonus video!

Gotta love Canadian Ned...

Discuss "Knight Rider on Smoking Pot" (4 comments so far)

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