November 2012 Archives

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10th Blogiversary Open Mike

Open MikeHave you heard? The blog is now ten years old. Love it or hate it, you must give me credit for persistence.

But what about you? What do you have to say for yourself? This is the entry where anything and everything goes.


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A Decade of Blogging

birthdayIt was ten years ago tomorrow that I changed my personal home page into a blog. Not a lot of blogs have hit the decade mark, so I'm pretty proud I kept this up. It's still fun.

The Tale of the Tape

  • # of entries (including this one): 11,653
  • # of comments (excluding comment spam): 45,484
  • Most comments on one entry (My Prima Television Nightmare): 626
  • Most visited page (excluding the home page): 100 Wedding Songs (136,375 Pageviews)

Happy 10th birthday, blog. I'm looking forward to spending another decade with you.

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Free Braun CruZer - Who Wants One?

Free Braun CruZerThe folks at Braun have given me a cruZer face to give away to one lucky commenter. Here's the marketing blurb about this shaver / styler / trimmer and then I'll tell you how you can win.

The cruZer5 face is a sleek 3-in-1 shaver, styler and trimmer that turns any facial hair into a stylish beard. This styling tool gives you a clean shave, neat trim or defined edges. Boasting the technology of a Braun dry shaver, Braun cruZer5 face includes a twistable trimmer for styling and an adjustable attachment for cutting your beard to four different lengths.


If you'd like to win this Braun cruZer, either for yourself or to re-gift to a loved one, simply leave a comment on this entry by tomorrow at midnight, just be sure to put your email address in the email field. I'll randomly pick a winner. Good luck!

Discuss "Free Braun CruZer - Who Wants One?" (65 comments so far)

Minecraft: My Kid Loves It

Minecraft: My Kids Love ItMy son is 10-years old and obsessed with Minecraft. The same is true with his friends. Minecraft is their video game of choice.

I've seen him play it, but I don't really get Minecraft. He's home sick, so I just chatted him up about it.

Daddy: What do you like about Minecraft?

James: I like to build things and kill people. I like to play multi-player to chat with people.

Daddy: It's not nice to kill people.

James: It's different. It's not real life.

James: I'd play every day if I could.

Daddy: The graphics kind of suck though...

James: It's supposed to be like that. Everything is supposed to be in block form.

So there you have it. Minecraft: blocky but good.


Discuss "Minecraft: My Kid Loves It" (5 comments so far)

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 17: Off He Goes

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 17Here's the 17th episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, Rosie and I chat about the recent Humble and Fred party, the Argos Grey Cup win, Rob Ford, breasts and WKRP. This episode is exactly 1:04:49.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

It seems the volume of the audio I piped in was too low, so don't adjust your sets if you find the opening theme too quiet.

Relevant links discussed in this episode:

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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OpinionsRob Ford is an extremely polarizing political figure in this city. Actually, beyond this city. Most of the comments on the Rob Ford Removed From Office entry are from commenters I happen to know live outside the 416, but that's okay. Everyone is entitled to express their opinions here.

Some people think Rob Ford is a great mayor while others think he's a terrible mayor. Some think he's an honest man while others consider him a liar. Some think the process that removed him from office is a sham while others see it as a fundamental and important component of our political system that keeps elected officials in check and protects citizens from corruption. Like I said, he's a polarizing figure. Just look at how Toronto voted for mayor and you'll see what I mean.


There are other polarizing topics that pop up on this blog from time to time. Religion, for example. Some believe religion to be a very good thing while others believe it to be a very bad thing. Even in technology there are factions. Some love everything Apple, some avoid Apple products at all cost. And what about music? If I post a rap song, I know some will hate it because it's rap. Others hate rock. Some only listen to country music. Everyone has an opinion.

For the record, in case you're new here, I dislike Rob Ford and feel the process that removed him from office is fair, but I'm not planning any parade here. I'd have preferred to have defeated him in an election.

And I don't like religion, enjoy both rap and rock, dislike country music, avoid all things Apple and believe Cheers was better with Coach than with Woody. But I stand by my 10-year record: no comment with an alternative opinion has ever been modified or deleted. Not one.

So please, don't hesitate to share you opinion in these comments. If you agree with me, great! If you don't, great! I respect alternative opinions just as much as I respect my own.

~ Mike

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Pac-Man Pasta

RewindIf you're a fan of canned pasta, you've come to the right place. After all, I'm the guy who tracked down the Alpha-Getti Gobbler and posted the erotic Zoodles label.

Now here's another flashback, courtesy of Retrontario. It's Pac-Man pasta!

Pac-Man was everywhere in the 80s. I even slept on Pac-Man sheets.

Discuss "Pac-Man Pasta" (3 comments so far)

Rob Ford Removed From Office #holyshit

Rob Ford Removed as MayorAn Ontario judge has ruled that Rob Ford violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and will be removed from office.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles T. Hackland said in a ruling released Monday that Ford violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act when he spoke and participated in a council vote regarding a financial penalty he was ordered to pay. The penalty relates to donations he solicited for his football charity.

The ruling Monday takes effect in 14 days because Hackland said he recognized the decision "will necessitate administrative changes in the City of Toronto."

This quote from Judge Hackland's ruling is most damning:

It is difficult to accept an error in judgment defence based essentially on a stubborn sense of entitlement and a dismissive and confrontational attitude to the Integrity Commish and the Code of Conduct. In my opinion, the respondent's actions were characterized by ignorance of the law and a lack of diligence in securing professional advice, amounting to wilful blindness.

Everyone knows how I felt about this mayor. I'm just sorry he's got another 14 days and possibly longer with appeals, etc. Earlier today I said I'd be flabbergasted if Ford was removed from office. Right now I'm flabbergasted, and it feels so good. There's hope for this city once more.

And to Mr. Ford I have but two words: good riddance.

Discuss "Rob Ford Removed From Office #holyshit" (112 comments so far)

Toronto Argonauts Parade Details

Toronto Argonauts Parade DetailsIt was the perfect storm. The Argos hosted the 100th Grey Cup and won it with a convincing 35-22 win over the Calgary Stampeders. And with no Leafs in sight to overshadow the event with a 3-game winning streak or anything like that, the spotlight belongs to the deserving Argonauts.

The parade to celebrate the club’s 16th Grey Cup win, it’s first since 2004, will begin at Wellington St. & Yonge St. (west side) and travel west to Bay St. It will then turn north and proceed up Bay St. The parade will culminate on stage in Nathan Phillips Square where Mayor Ford will read a proclamation announcing November 27, 2012 to be Toronto Argonauts Day.


It all begins at 11:30am tomorrow. Congrats again, Argos. This was fun!


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This is Our League

cflThe Argos take on the Stampeders tonight in the 100th Grey Cup. I know I'll be watching as the Boatmen go for their 16th championship, 4th overall in North American professional sports.

Even if you haven't watched a single CFL game all season, I hope you watch tonight. This is our game.... this is our league.


Discuss "This is Our League" (14 comments so far)

Héctor "Macho" Camacho, Dead at 50

In MemoriumHéctor "Macho" Camacho was 50. He was a three time world champion boxer who awed fans with his quick hands and ring antics, developing a reputation for flamboyance.

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Larry Hagman, Dead at 81

In MemoriumLarry Hagman was 81. He was the actor best known for playing J. R. Ewing in Dallas and Major Anthony "Tony" Nelson in I Dream of Jeannie.


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Grey Cup Open Mike

Open MikeI had a great time at the Nut Hut Shit Show party last night. I even got to meet Liz, Stephanie and Rick C in Oakville.

The rest of you owe me a brilliant comment or two. Stimulate me!


Discuss "Grey Cup Open Mike" (78 comments so far)

Why Sting Always Gets a Free Pass

Why Sting Always Gets a Free PassI never liked The Police. I'm not talking about law enforcement, I'm talking about the English rock band. I acknowledge they have a number of hits and I've caught myself singing Roxanne at least twice, but I never loved their sound.

I dislike Sting as a solo artist even more. When I hear a Sting song, I cringe a little bit and if I can't turn the station I start singing something else in my head in an effort to drown it out. Sting's music isn't my cup of tea, as the Brits would say.

I don't like his music, but Sting as a person has always got a free pass from me. It all comes down to one fact I learned back in 1992 while watching The Simpsons episode "Radio Bart". He's a good digger.


Discuss "Why Sting Always Gets a Free Pass" (15 comments so far)

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 16: I Am Mine

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 16Here's the 16th episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, Rosie and I chat for over an hour about so many fun and interesting things. If you only listen to one episode of Toronto Mike'd, make it this one. This episode is exactly 1:08:18.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Topics covered include, but are not limited to:

  • Chemicals in the building and their effect on Rosie
  • Rogers takes back the good mics
  • Ok Blue Jays!
  • Neil Young concert review
  • Drive thrus
  • First concerts remembered
  • The Santa Claus parade
  • Pronouncing gif
  • Argos fight song and the 100th Grey Cup
  • The future of Toronto Mike'd
  • Saying no to Gerard Kennedy
  • Breasts and heaven

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Argos Theme Song / Fight Song

Argos Theme Song / Fight SongThe Toronto Argonauts will be playing in the 100th Grey Cup this Sunday and I think this entire city should jump on the bandwagon. Normally bandwagon jumpers annoy me, but if ever a franchise needed a mass bandwagon jump, this is the franchise and this is the time.

Personally, I'm excited, but I actually watched the East semi-final against the Eskimos and attended a game at the dome this season. So I'm not bandwagon jumping here when I scream with passion "Arrrrrrggggooooooooosss!".

By the way, did you know the Toronto Argonauts have a fight song? This is from 1967 and I say we bring it back. Listen to the Argos fight song below and sing along with the lyrics provided.

Go Toronto Argos go go go
Pull together fight the foe foe foe
Scoring touchdowns for the blue on blue
The Argos will win for you!

Full of fight and courage you can't stop
They pile up the points until they reach the top
Pull together 'til the Grey Cup's won
Go Argos go go go

Go Toronto Argos go go go
Pull together fight the foe foe foe
Scoring touchdowns for the blue on blue
The Argos will win for you

Full of fight and courage you can't stop
They pile up the points until they reach the top
Pull together till the Grey Cup's won
Go Argos go Toronto go
Go Argos go go go

[Theme song via]

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The Return of Mother's Pizza Parlour and Spaghetti House?

The Return of Mother's Pizza Parlour and Spaghetti House?I wrote about Mother's Pizza way back in August 2007. As a kid, that was the local family pizzeria we'd visit and my memories of the restaurant are pretty good.

That entry attracted a new comment this month from someone who claims there's a sign in Hamilton on Queenston Road that says Mothers Pizzeria and Spaghetti House is coming in March 2013. Could this be true? Is Mother's Pizza coming back to life?

A visit to confirms something is up. There are no specifics, but it's a new site and "exciting news" is promised soon.

I'd love to take my kids to Mother's Pizza again. Hopefully I won't have to drive to Hamilton to make that happen.

Discuss "The Return of Mother's Pizza Parlour and Spaghetti House?" (36 comments so far)

Seeing Neil Young: Better Late Than Never

musicEntering 2012, there were three acts on my "must see live" wishlist: Public Enemy, Neil Young and Nirvana.

I caught Public Enemy at an absolutely amazing show in September, and tonight I'll see Neil Young at the ACC. I can't wait to see the living legend I've admired forever live.

"Living" is the key word there, because I'll never see Nirvana. That one isn't happening.


What bands are on your must-see-live list?

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 15: Stupid Mop

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 15Here's the 15th episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, Rosie and I chat about Vince Carter, my Gemini award and crazy intern stories. This episode is exactly 33:26.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

As always, I'm eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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2012 Toronto Santa Claus Parade

santaI took the kids to the 2012 Santa Claus Parade today. It was my ninth parade in a row, and the kids had a blast, but when I arrived at my usual spot at 10:30am, I received an unexpected surprise...

We usually set up camp early just North of Dundas on the west side of University on one of the big islands. This year, almost the entire island was blocked off by gates for Canadian Tire. Kids weren't just told they couldn't sit on the curb, but they couldn't sit in front of the gates, either. A whole whack of great real estate was taken out of commission so Canadian Tire could set up chairs for an exclusive audience, half of whom never showed up.

2012-11-18 11.19.28

2012-11-18 11.31.43

This was the first time our regular spots were unavailable, and if I hadn't have been 3 hours early, I likely wouldn't have been able to score the kids a front row seat. It's a city parade and the curb is city property and I just felt like these spots should have been available to the general public. Sure, Canadian Tire is one of the many sponsors, but that's why they get to plaster their logo everywhere and field an ever-increasingly commercialized float. Barricading the islands to prevent Torontonians from enjoying the parade just felt wrong.

2012-11-18 13.07.26

I took these photos. Despite having to scramble for a spot this year, we'll be back next year.

2012-11-18 12.04.43

2012-11-18 13.53.05

2012-11-18 13.49.32



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

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Blue Jays Going for Broke

Blue Jays Going for BrokeI'm still riding the high from Tuesday's trade with the Miami "Don't Call Us Florida" Marlins. In that deal, we added Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio. Now there's word Alex Anthopoulos has signed free agent Melky Cabrera.

Yes, Melky Cabrera was suspended by MLB last season for 50 games after testing positive for high levels of testosterone, but before that he had a major league-leading 159 hits and was second in the NL with a .346 batting average. The guy can hit.

So we'll put Cabrera in LF, Rasmus in CF, and some guy named Bautista in RF. Lawrie will play 3B, Reyes will star at SS, Izturis should be ready to play 2B and Encarnacion and Lind can play 1B / DH. There's too many catchers, so someone will have to go so we have two of Arencibia, Buck and d'Arnaud. I smell an Arencibia trade on the horizon...

As for starters, how does Brandon Morrow, Josh Johnson, Ricky Romero, Mark Burelhe and J.A. Happ sound?

We haven't had an off-season this exciting in quite some time. The Jays are going for broke and I love it. It's about time we had real hope for a team in this city.

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Nepo Ekim

Open MikeIf you're smart enough to crack the code, you've likely got lots of interesting things to say. You should say those interesting things here.


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Longevity Runs in the Family (If You're Female)

birthdayMy maternal grandmother turns 97 today. She no longer recognizes me, nor knows where the heck she is, but she doesn't seem to be in pain and is still very much alive.

Meanwhile, my paternal grandmother recently turned 101. She still has her wits about her.

When people find out my grandmothers are both still alive, they usually respond that I have good genes and should live a very long time. That would be true, if I were female.

My grandfathers didn't fare nearly as well, although both lived an average length of time. I think I'd be okay with average.

I laugh thinking about the three words I'm going to use to end this entry, because my 97 year old grandmother is completely unaware that the internet even exists, but here it goes... Happy birthday, grandma!

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Brilliant Machines

They're spotting robots everywhere.

There are more videos at and on Twitter if you search for the hashtag #brilliantmachines.

Am I crazy, or is there a simple explanation of all this? The Omnibot 2000 lives!

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How I View My Facebook News Feed

How I View My Facebook News FeedI don't love Facebook, but acknowledge it's important to be there. Whenever I flirt with the idea of deleting my Facebook account I remember that's the main way I now keep in touch with friends and family. When a friend gives birth, I'll learn about it and see the pictures in Facebook. When my nephew dresses up as Max for Halloween, I only know about it and see the picture because I'm on Facebook. Whether you update your status message and post updates or not, it's important to be there.

One thing I've always disliked about Facebook is how their News Feed works. It's not a reverse-chronological listing of all updates by all friends. That's what I want, but that would be too simple for Facebook. Instead, it's a strange unknown algorithm that determines what makes your News Feed and in what order.

I no longer visit my Facebook home page (the official news feed) when checking Facebook for updates. I've created a list I call "Everyone" and I've put every single one of my friends in this list. Then, my bookmark for Facebook is actually the feed for this custom list. This way I actually get all updates by all friends in reverse-chronological order without being filtered through any unknown Facebook algorithm.

Here's how you create custom lists right from your home page:

  • Click the Home link (along the top-right of every Facebook page)
  • Click the More link next to Friends
  • Click Create a List
  • Search for your friends in the search bar at the top of the page, or add people from the List Suggestions on the right

When it comes to interface and behaviour, I prefer Google+ to Facebook. The problem is, almost everyone is on Facebook and almost nobody is on Google+. Sometimes you have to go where the action is, even if you don't love being there.

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8 Tips For Staying Safe When Shopping Online

Tips For Staying Safe When Shopping OnlineBelow are 8 great tips for staying safe and secure when shopping online. My friends at Dell sent this over and with Cyber Monday and all the holiday shopping coming up, this is a great time to make sure you're ready.

  1. Make sure your computer is up-to-date with anti-virus and malware detection software
  2. When buying online, always use a credit card that limits your fraud liability. Avoid using debit cards to prevent fraudulent transactions
  3. Always type the URL of your favourite shopping websites. Don’t use links provided in online ads and emails as they may direct you to bogus websites set by cyber criminals to extract personal information
  4. Be wary of holiday gift cards and coupon offers sent via email. They are often a trap for information-stealing Trojans or provide a backdoor for hackers to collect your personal information
  5. When making online purchases always look for the HTTPS on your browser’s URL window. The S (as opposed to just HTTP) indicates the website has another layer of security
  6. Never open unsolicited emails with links to attachments even from people you know. ALWAYS verify with the sender that he or she actually sent you the email with the link
  7. Never open or respond to emails from your bank (or any financial institution) that ask you to verify or update your banking certificate, password or token. Banks rarely ask customers to update/disclose sensitive information via email. Always check with your bank before taking action
  8. Avoid using weak or default password for any online sites

It's a good list from the Dell IT security experts. I especially like #3. As a general rule, if you're planning on buying something from a site never, ever click over from a link on a web page or in an email. Always go straight there in your browser or use your own bookmark. The same rule applies to your bank and any other site that might require you enter banking / credit card info.

Are you reading, mom?

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 14: Long Road

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 14Here's the 14th episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, Rosie and I chat about Maps, Shanahans, Gordons and welcome Phil the Friday Intern to discuss Humble and Fred, racial stereotypes and waking up at 11:30pm. This episode is exactly 37:39.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

As always, I'm eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

Discuss "Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 14: Long Road" (27 comments so far)

Blue Jays Become Instant Contenders

Blue Jays Become Instant ContendersI unplugged for a couple of hours to record a couple of podcasts this afternoon, and when I finally checked my phone I had messages from family and friends about the Toronto Blue Jays.

Jays excitement in November? What the hell did I miss? Plenty, it seems.

Coming to Toronto from Miami in a mega 12-player trade are starters Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, shortstop Jose Reyes, catcher John Buck and speedster Emilio Bonifacio. Sure, we had to give up a couple of prospects, but also Yunel Escobar, who I wanted gone anyway. Talent-wise, the Jays are a much improved team following this one-sided trade.

That makes us instant contenders, right? Well, maybe. We still have the Yankees and Rays in our division, and the Orioles proved themselves last year. Oh... and the Red Sox might spend their way back lickety split.

But for now, there's hope. This city deserves a winning team and desperately needs one. The Raptors won't make the playoffs and the Leafs aren't even playing, but it'll be nice to have our Jays back.

Discuss "Blue Jays Become Instant Contenders" (22 comments so far)

Lining Up To See Santa Ain't What It Used To Be

Lining Up To See Santa Ain't What It Used To BeThis past Saturday, I found myself in Sherway Gardens. For the initiated, Sherway Gardens is the go-to South Etobicoke mall, located at the junction of Hwy. 427 and the QEW. I wasn't there to shop, I was there to walk and rewarded myself with a McDonald's coffee.

As I walked, I couldn't help but notice an insanely long line-up of parents booking an appointment for their child(ren) to visit with Santa. That's right, you have to line up bright and early to reserve a decent time slot for your kids to meet Santa at a later date. Lining up to see Santa certainly isn't what it used to be.

Back in my day, we had to line up, but at the end of that line you sat on Santa's lap and told him what you wanted. Not any more... at least, not at Sherway Gardens.

The visit with Santa, if you don't order a picture, is $7 but you do get some activities with the photo op and Sherway promises they'll give the proceeds to Sleeping Children Around the World. So there's that.

I didn't join the line to schedule the appointment with Santa at a future date. My kids can see the big guy at the parade next Sunday.

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Kids in the Hall: Police Chase

Discuss "Kids in the Hall: Police Chase" (15 comments so far)

Links to All 252 Humble and Fred Podcast Episodes

My Visit to Humble and Fred RadioThis past weekend, Humble and Fred had an issue with iTunes indexing their XML file. While trouble shooting, I realized there's not really a convenient place outside of iTunes for someone to access all 252 unique episodes.

With the guys taking the week off, I thought it might be a good time to list links to the 252 episodes Humble and Fred have recorded over the past year and a bit. Here they are:

iTunes is notoriously picky when it comes to updating from XML and if they don't like one character they simply won't update. I've validated the XML to ensure it's clean and I've managed to get the last two episodes re-indexed, but iTunes seems to be choking on an XML containing all 252 episodes. Now I'm wondering if we've hit an undisclosed cap...

While I figure that out, feel free to catch up on what you've missed this year. And if you're into good podcasts, you might enjoy mine: Toronto Mike'd.

Congrats to Humble and Fred for hitting the big 250 on Thursday! Enjoy the week off.

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LG, Pac-Man and Kids These Days

LG, Pac-Man and Kids These DaysI bought a new television about 18 months ago from LG. I'm not loyal to LG by any means, but it had the right specs, was the right price and so far, so good.

Once you see the LG logo morph into Pac-Man, you cannot unsee it. Continue reading, if you dare...


Speaking of Pac-Man, on Halloween while trick-or-treating with the kids, I saw a young girl dressed as Pac-Man. That's essentially parents using their kid as a prop to promote their childhood memories because there's no way kids these days are loving Pac-Man.

LG, perhaps, but not Pac-Man.

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A Day of 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.

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My First Medieval Times Experience

My First Medieval Times ExperienceI've driven or walked past the Medieval Times castle at Exhibition Place a thousand times but had never been inside until last Thursday night. That's when the kids joined us as guests of Medieval Times for their all new show, two years in the making.

The kids loved it. There was tonnes of jousting, sword fighting, horsemanship and flaconry, and most importantly, our knight won it all. If you've never been to Medieval Times, the arena is divided into six sections and each section is represented by a knight who engage in action packed battles. And it all opened with a rider-less Andalusian Stallion.

Somebody just caught a flower at Medieval Times

And the food was pretty good, too. Tomato bisque, garlic bread, oven roasted half chicken, bbq spare rib, herb-basted potato wedges and a pastry, and not a utensil in sight. The kids loved eating with their hands.

If you'd like to check out the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament for yourself, you can purchase tickets online at or by calling 1-88-935-6878.

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Open Mike

Open MikeIf you have something to say, say it here. Even if you don't have anything to say, this is the place to do it.


Discuss "Open Mike" (62 comments so far)

What Swimming Every Day Is Doing To My Hair

What Swimming Every Day Is Doing To My HairStarting the day after Thanksgiving, I've been swimming every weekday. I love it, but the chlorine has given me crazy hair.

On a good day, I like to think I now look like this:


In reality, I'm sure I'm looking more like a combination of this:


And this:


I love the swimming, I just hate the chlorine.

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Canada's New $20 Polymer Bank Note

moneyA year ago, we got sexy new $100 bills made out of a single sheet of plastic polymer. I don't know about you, but I don't come across many $100 bills.

I do, however, see the odd $20 bill making its way into my wallet, so I'm paying more attention to the new $20 bill.

The new bank note features the Vimy Memorial in northern France, the largest monument overseas for Canadian soldiers lost the First World War. No, I don't think it looks like the twin towers. I think it looks exactly like the Vimy Memorial.

I love this new bill, as it's our job to never forget.

Discuss "Canada's New $20 Polymer Bank Note" (6 comments so far)

Bono is a Jerk...

Bono is a Jerk...Walking the streets of Dublin a couple of months ago, I came across this message for U2's Bono.

Bono is a jerk....

It reads:

Bono is a jerk
He never had to work
He won't pay his tax
Always wears staks

Any guesses as to what the heck staks are?

Discuss "Bono is a Jerk..." (25 comments so far)

The [yellow tail] Wine Orchestra Players

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to I received the following entry from Alex.

This spring Yellow Tail Wine invited fans to turn their wine, bottles, and glasses into music and join the Wine Orchestra for their chance to star in a video created by international composer Kutiman (ThruYOU) and to help give to the Unison Benevolent Fund. Check out the final video and see who made the cut.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 13: Do The Evolution

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 13Here's the 13th episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, Rosie and I chat about hot dogs stuffed in pizza crust, the Raptors, Weezer and welcome Toronto Mike'd theme song composer iLLvibe. This episode is exactly 35:47.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

As always, I'm eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Learning the Podcasting Ropes

Learning the RopesI shared my thoughts about where I was going, and tonight I made great strides towards my podcasting goals.

With a great tutorial by Bish I not only manned my own sound board for episode 13, but I learned how to manage the entire recording process.

Here's my one minute practice reel:

Now this is fun. Episode 13 will be posted tomorrow morning.

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A Canadian's Thoughts on the US Election

My Thoughts on the US ElectionThe American federal election is today. As a Canadian, I don't get a vote, and now treat it much like I treat the World Series when the Jays aren't playing in it.

When the Jays aren't in the World Series, and they haven't been there since 1993, I pick a favourite so it's more fun to watch. This year, I wanted the Giants to beat the Tigers, and was pleased when they won. But had the Tigers won the World Series, I'd have thrown up my arms and exclaimed "oh well - they weren't really my team".

With this election it's pretty much the same thing. I'm rooting for Obama to beat Romney (surprise, surprise) and hoping he prevails, but should Romney pull off the upset, I'll throw up my arms and exclaim "oh well - it's not my country".

Because the fact is, as a Canadian, I'm entitled to a rooting interest, but I don't have to live with the results. I've got a Conservative Prime Minister and a right-wing Mayor I sincerely dislike, but I'm making no plans to move out of the city and I continue to pay my taxes. At least I had a say in the matter...

Fellow Canadians, who are you rooting for in the US election?

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Podcasting: Where I've Been and Where I'm Going

Podcasting: Where I've Been and Where I'm GoingIn December 2006, I had my first taste of producing a podcast. It was the 17th Annual Humble and Fred Christmas Show, recorded at Dan Duran's house and made available online by yours truly. Over the next five years we'd record more Humble and Fred podcasts until the perfect storm presented itself. The guys are now quickly approaching their 250th episode, still served up fresh daily via my lovingly knit XML and HTML enthused infrastructure.

Part One: Making the Audio Accessible

I've learned a lot about the back end (insert joke here) of podcasting over the years, but getting the MP3 heard on multiple devices in a multitude of ways is only 1/3rd of the equation. My plan was to learn the other 2/3rds, content production and hosting and audio production, and I decided to do that by throwing myself into the ring.

Part Two: Creating Interesting Content and Hosting Your Show

I started my podcast in early September and now have a dozen episodes online. Over these 12 episodes, I've learned so much in terms of hosting a podcast, driving content, scheduling guests and keeping it flowing. With lots of help from Rosie, my wonderful co-host, and Mike Wixson, my audio producer, I actually feel confident owning the mic. Toronto Mike'd has been a blast.

Part Three: Audio Mixing and MP3 Production

Starting with episode 13, which I plan to record tomorrow night assuming my voice returns, I'm going to learn the final third slice of the podcast pie. I'm going to manage the audio elements and learn how to produce the MP3. That's what's next and I'm excited.

Podcasting is more than an XML file and being indexed by iTunes. I'm learning that.

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SFW Toronto City Porn

SFW Toronto City PornHere's a gorgeous view from the crane that was building the Four Seasons Yorkville Residences here in Toronto.


[via Reddit]

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 12: All Canadian Surf Club

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 12Here's the 12th episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, Rosie and I chat about my daughter's LinkedIn account and there's a vibrant discussion about paying for news online. This episode is exactly 34:13.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

As always, I'm eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

Discuss "Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 12: All Canadian Surf Club" (9 comments so far)

November's Here Open Mike

Open MikeWith Halloween in the rear-view mirror, it's time for us to complain about the holiday decorations and music in unison. At the count of three: one, two, three!

If anything else is bugging you, throw it in the comments below. You'll feel better. You'll see.


Discuss "November's Here Open Mike" (65 comments so far)

iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S3

iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S3I mentioned Virgin Mobile lent me a Samsung Galaxy S3 (or is it Galaxy SIII?) and I've enjoyed my time with it. The 4G LTE speed is sweet, and Android 4.0 is incredible. I sincerely hope Virgin Mobile lets me keep this device, or conveniently forgets they sent it to me in the first place. Either option works for me.

Speaking of what works for me, this mobile platform does it for me, but my friends with the iPhone 5 seem just as happy, willing to give up a little display size for their OS of choice. I've done a ton of Googling, and the review sites seem split. Some prefer the Apple iPhone 5, others prefer the Samsung Galaxy S3, but all agree both phones are best-in-class.


So my question for you all is this: if you had to use a mobile device, and you had to choose between the Samsung Galaxy S3 or iPhone 5, and both were free, which one would you choose? And yes, you have to choose one and only one!

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Disney and Star Wars: Why It Doesn't Matter

Disney and Star WarsDisney bought Star Wars, and some are upset. There's fear the Star Wars franchise will become Disneyfied and Episode 7 will feature music by Miley Cirus and will star Justin Beiber as Luke Skywalker's son.


Fear not, my nerd readers. This acquisition by Disney doesn't matter, in fact, it might help the franchise.


The second movie I ever saw in a theatre was Star Wars. Back then, we just called it Star Wars. There was no "A New Hope" tagged on the end, and we didn't know it was Episode 4. It was just awesome.

In fact, the original trilogy was awesome. I owned the box set on VHS and loved all three films. Then, George Lucas directed a prequel triology. The first two sucked.

Do you remember how bad they were? I have a ten year old son, so I've seen The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones several times. They're pretty bad... I'd throw Revenge of the Sith into this pile, but compared to the other two, it's actually pretty decent. There are parts I actually enjoy!

So Disney can't do much worse with this franchised. George Lucas himself already ruined it with Jar Jar Binks and the like. If anything, Disney might give it The Avengers treatment, and put a decent director behind Episode 7. Christopher Nolan would be perfect.

I'm glad Lucas is less involved now. Relax, my nerd friends... it's not going to get any worse.

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