Back in the City Open Mike

Open MikeI'm back from camping at Pinery Provincial Park. The weather was amazing and a great time was had by all. I think it's my longest period of no Internet access since the mid-90s.

I'm just catching up on the news and learnt Phyllis Diller died. Only the good die young...


This is your Open Mike. Talk about anything you want and let me know what I missed. If you have a question, I'll drop by throughout the day to answer you. Anything goes....

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Do you know how it feels to visit every morning and see nothing new? Like Charlie Brown and the football!

I kid I kid. Glad you're back. Missed the blog!


August 24, 2012 @ 10:51 AM


Hey Mike, welcome back to the Big Smoke.. I'm hitting the Pinery and Grand Bend on Thursday. I've never been that way, recommend anything out that way? Cheers, Matt

August 24, 2012 @ 12:25 PM


Welcome back, you were missed.

August 24, 2012 @ 12:42 PM


I don't see what the big issue with all this Lance Armstrong business is. He was the best rider that was on PED's in a race where all other riders were on PED's.

August 24, 2012 @ 1:44 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Just like Ben Johnson!

August 24, 2012 @ 1:46 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I spend all my time at the Pinery... but Grand Bend has one strip full of cool surf shops and resorty mini putt and water slide parks and neat diners and stuff.

PInery is awesome because of the best beaches and sand dunes and you'll have a blast. I hope you get the weather I got, because that makes all the difference. Normally I do this trip in July when the weather is more bankable... it can get pretty cool at night in late August.

I'll post some pics and an update soon... I've got a 2013 Ford Escape to return, first.

August 24, 2012 @ 1:51 PM


Thanks Mike for the tips, looking forward to a vacay away from the city and taking it easy on the beach. Have a good one!

August 24, 2012 @ 3:57 PM

Mike from Lowville

Going to the Winona Peach Festival this weekend. Did the Milton Ribfest and the family pig roast last weekend. Next weekend doing the largest Ribfest in my hometown of Burlington. Not enough time to do the CNE.

August 24, 2012 @ 4:02 PM


Well, almost the end of August already. Only one month left of regular baseball season. That's good, but wait, then there are the playoffs. That's going to be lots more baseball yet. Well, please let hockey not go on strike. I miss my hockey for sure.

August 24, 2012 @ 4:43 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Police must be getting their quotas for tickets on the 400 and Hwy 11 today, must have seen over a dozen driving down from North Bay today. Some were in questionable areas, one was marked as 70 Kmh for construction just south of North Bay, but all the construction was finished and no signs of pylons or anything, it was freshly paved 4 lane open road.

August 24, 2012 @ 6:30 PM

Blind Dave

@Toronto Mike

Great to have you back, Mike! It felt odd not having you around but I'm delighted you had a chance to get away with the family for awhile.


Yup, they all dope up; it's just a matter of who gets caught. They even decided to nail a high profile American this time, so I wonder who had in for Lance.


I understand hockey is a huge past-time for you, but for your own sake you might want to find a temporary past time, just in case. Though I believe basketball starts about the same time, so at least you'll have something to follow. As for hockey itself, or any other major sports league that locks out or strikes, it would serve them right to destroy themselves. But the lost sheep of hockey fandom will just go baaaaa-ing on back as soon as the first puck drops.

August 24, 2012 @ 6:48 PM

Rick C in Oakville

@Blind Dave, last strike I took in some Marlie games, now there are some real honest to goodness players doing it for the love of the sport. Almost reminds me of the 60's and 70's hockey players who had to go home and help on the family farm in the off season because the pay cheques from hockey may have paid for their bus fare home. They did it for the pure love of hockey.

Also forgot to welcome Mike back, I was too focused on ranting about the OPP radar traps I saw.

August 24, 2012 @ 6:56 PM


Hey Mike, you're going to give us a review of the 2013 Escape in general as well as how it handled the camping trip right? I'm debating between it and a Subaru Forester. Forester has more ground clearance and better off-road, but Escape has way more features, tech stuff, better handling, fuel economy from what I've read. Thanks!

August 24, 2012 @ 7:12 PM

Blind Dave

@Rick C In Oakville

Great point, and very true.

I used to watch senior A hockey in the Barrie-Orillia area in the 70s. No money for anyone, but man, some of those games were outright NASTY!

These days I watch my teen playing football and basketball. It's all for the love of the game.

August 24, 2012 @ 8:18 PM


Phyllis Diller:
She was also a Concert pianist with over 100 symphony orchestras under the name Dame Illya Dillya. Diller had also written eight short stories for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, whose June 1990 issue featured her on its cover.
Here's her magazine image link: as relayed from The Rap Sheet. R.I.P.

August 24, 2012 @ 9:59 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I'll definitely write about the car...

A camping / 2013 Escape entry is imminent...


I believe it's Dave Chappelle's birthday. Very funny dude. Big fan.

August 24, 2012 @ 10:03 PM


I was offered FREE tiks to see Bruce Springsteen tonight, I said NO as cannot stand this guy. TOO OVER HYPED.
The media in 80's gave him so much attention & Bruce played on it. The E Street band are Awesome, especially the late Clarence Clemens & if not for THEM Bruce would be singing in the subways of NY City.

Lance Armstrong - enough is enough. I give you credit for what your health concerns as I went through the same situation, however you have given up your quest for you being "CLEAN" so you must be dirty. Colon & Calbrera in baseball you both got caught, LOSERS.

Too bad Burkie doesn't get caught & be4 suspended also.

August 24, 2012 @ 10:05 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I have a lot to say about Lance Armstrong.... I think it may be an entry unto itself.

Essentially, he reminds me of Pete Rose. Pete could hit like nobody else, and when the evidence against him piled up, he denied and denied and denied.

He was cocky and felt his hits were enough. Lance feels his wins were enough, and has decided to deny, deny and deny.

It's sad...

As for Bruce, I like him enough that I'd definitely see him with free tickets, but I've never felt compelled to buy tickets to his show. He's a bit overrated, most definitely, but I hear he puts on a great show.

August 24, 2012 @ 10:14 PM


I was at the Bruce concert last night - he puts on an absolutely fantastic show. 3.5+ hours of non-stop rock, dancing the night away to some of my favourite tunes.

I think with Springsteen, you either like him or you don't. Count me as a like-er.

August 25, 2012 @ 9:50 AM


@BCGuy - Some thoughts on your Forester-Escape question
I've had a Legacy GT for 6½ years now. It has been by far the most reliable car I have ever owned. Only two original equipment items have broken/required servicing and there was one (minor) recall for a fan switch. Anything else has been because I wore out parts. There is a lot of component/platform commonality across Subaru's line. Other people that I know who have Subarus seem to have similar reliability. If you load up a Forester to go somewhere, you will likely find the standard engine to be adequate at best, a little bit more than that if you take the 5-speed stick vs. the CVT. Go to the turbo and you will never be wanting for power or torque - but it has an antiquated four speed automatic that doesn't exactly deliver fuel efficiency. My local Subaru dealer is excellent. I would not purchase a car from them, but, long out of warranty, I still go to them for service because I trust them and they do very good work.

The new Escape - Europeans have loved their Kugas for years, which was always on their good Focus platform (until recently, North America's Focus was on the gen-one platform - no wonder it wasn't a good car). The Escape/Kuga are on the very good new Focus platform, which is newer than the Forester's platform.

While I really enjoy my Legacy, my gut feeling tells me that the Escape is a better all-around vehicle than the Forester. Unless Ford North America screws up on assembly quality and dealer experience, they have a real winner here. At any trim/price level, the Forester will not look or feel as premium (your money is in the powertrain, full-time (not a slip-and-grip) AWD system) as an Escape. In turbo trim, a Forester will leave any Escape in the dust - literally - on or off-road. Bottom line - you're trying to decide between two really good choices. Have fun, good luck, enjoy whichever you go with.

August 25, 2012 @ 1:38 PM

Blind Dave

I'm a Bruce fan too. Yes he is overhyped, but he puts on a great show.

August 25, 2012 @ 2:27 PM


I've always been a fan of Springsteen but never seen a concert - perhaps the same reason that he was just always too hyped up. I can't recall what my most-recently-purchased album is, but I don't think I have anything post Y2K.

Escape - I have not driven a Ford since 2000 (my primary cars were 2 Honda Odyssey's, Acura MDX and now Audi Q7) but if you were to ask me what the best value is.. I'd call it a Ford. Great drive, amazing SYNC and great price.

Hockey strike? I never recovered from the last one but it was also at the same time my son was playing more and more minor hockey and emphasis (and spare time) switched. How they think they can strike twice in 10 years (and I know it's really 7) is Rid-ic-u-lous.

Pete Rose - Funny thing is, in my house we had a really big discussion about Pete Rose and integrity on Wednesday night. The whole thing on Lance hadn't broke yet, but as much as I hate to say it, Lance has to be stripped of his 7 Tour medals and Pete should never be in the baseball Hall of Fame. They happen to have got caught, but the integrity of the sport has to be maintained. We tell our children that cheaters never win so here's to that.

August 25, 2012 @ 3:25 PM


I'm not a Bruce Springsteen fan. I don't like him, and why do they call him the boss anyway. Bob Seger is millions of times better and so is John Mellencamp. Well, basketball will be on so that's good. I will miss my hockey though. When will baseball be locked out. Lock out baseball and I won't be upset one bit.

August 25, 2012 @ 6:15 PM


I'm not a Bruce Springsteen fan. I don't like him, and why do they call him the boss anyway. Bob Seger is millions of times better and so is John Mellencamp. Well, basketball will be on so that's good. I will miss my hockey though. When will baseball be locked out. Lock out baseball and I won't be upset one bit.

August 25, 2012 @ 6:15 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Cheryl...okay, we get don't like baseball or the leafs or grocery gateway...but you do like the habs and basketball..does that about sum it up??

August 26, 2012 @ 7:01 PM


Well, you're right I don't like the Leafs, Grocery Gateway or baseball. II love my Habs and Phoenix Suns. Anyway, believe me, Bob Seger is way better than Bruce Springsteen. He's a million times better.

August 26, 2012 @ 8:12 PM

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