Almost Christmas Open Mike

Open MikeMonday is Christmas Eve, in case you were unaware. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope you have some time off to enjoy with friends and family.

You know what to do with this Almost Christmas Open Mike.


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The temperature's dropping, so that means its time to adjust the air pressure in your tires.

Except, wtf-- there are no gas stations with a free air pump anymore. Everyone single one demands a loonie, ostensibly claiming it'll go to one of those "You give us money, we funnel it into an organization run by us, with 99% of administrative costs going back into our pockets, and we keep the tax deduction" things.

Remember when gas stations used to run ads along the lines of "We're drivers too, so we understand you"? Really, then how come you're not provide a free, basic, public safety service during pretty much the one and only point in a person's week when they'll remember to do it?

What's next, $1 to use the squeegee?

Looks like I'm pulling the portable compressor out of the emergency kit tonight.

December 21, 2012 @ 9:18 AM


Lorne, I guess they don't make enough money and have to charge for the air. (I am joking, of course)

Further to Lorne's comment...why do gas stations all change their prices at the exact same time to the exact same price. Does that not mean that they all know what each other is doing??

December 21, 2012 @ 9:29 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


As a biker, this also irritates me. Sometimes I want to freshen up the tires at a gas station but don't want to spend a loonie.

I miss the good old days when air at gas stations was free.

Are there any left? Let's put together a list of GTA gas stations with free air. There must be some left...

December 21, 2012 @ 9:31 AM

Dave Williams

Great news, Bill Carroll returns to AM640 January 7, 2013. Great news for the city, a great day for Toronto Radio. Lets pray that Rob Ford wins his appeal in January. Cheers.

December 21, 2012 @ 9:34 AM

Ryan G

All the best to everyone who reads and contributes to this blog, including our dear leader Kim Jong Toronto Mike, who founded this virtual speaker's corner.

For me, it's a great place to visit and express opinions on subjects right across the board, or just hear other people's opinions.

I'm guessing most of the people here have never met, yet you see personalities emerge from different identities simply from the written word. It's quite a fascinating thing when you stand back and look at what this place is, and what it represents.

At the end of the day, Toronto Mike is a micro-community, with a diverse range of people who may disagree on many things, but have enough in common to frequent and
contribute to this site.

As they say on reddit, this site "is a thing". It's a living, breathing entity forged by Toronto Mike and sustained by the Collective.

Finally I'll just add that although it's important to enjoy and celebrate your life and loved ones all year long, everyday responsibilities often get in the way. So do use this time of year as an opportunity to reflect and appreciate that life, truly, is good.

December 21, 2012 @ 9:39 AM


I'm praying that people stop praying for stupid shit.

Let the legal process do it's think and let's not get God involved. I'm sure he has better things to do.

December 21, 2012 @ 9:40 AM


Happy Festivus everyone! Breaking out the Aluminum pole for December 23rd.

December 21, 2012 @ 9:44 AM

519 Rob

Since it was/is the end of the world today, which do you prefer?
Its The End Of The World As We Know REM, or by Great Big Sea?
Just curious...

December 21, 2012 @ 9:46 AM

Sam in Pickering


Finally, a Festivus for the rest of us!

December 21, 2012 @ 9:48 AM


As the year comes to a close its time to retire a few over-used buzz words and phrases, such as:

A conversation
Game changer

Sincerely, I would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas (or a completely secular happy holiday season for those heathens).

December 21, 2012 @ 9:50 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Ryan G

Well said.

There are fundamental disagreements between us, but it never seems to get personal. We say our piece and agree to disagree. It's very civil, and I like that.

I do know that the number of commenters compared to readers is very, very small, so I would love to see some new commenters from the pool of readers. If you read this blog and don't comment, please feel free to join in. New voices are always welcome.

December 21, 2012 @ 9:51 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@519 Rob

As much as I like Great Big Sea, you've got to go with R.E.M. on that one.

December 21, 2012 @ 9:54 AM


I've heard one gasoline retailer, in more than one location, that the electricity for the air is not free - one even added "with the increasing costs of electricity brought on by our provincial government". I'm not arguing that point, but still...sheesh. As an auto enthusiast who is regularly changing tires, I regulary check my tire pressures and have a compressor/pump, so I haven't used a gas station air pump in years.

On Sunday, I was at the Bills game at the 'Dome. I was fortunate enough to be in really good seats as the guest of one of my wholesalers. My first impression? What a small playing field!!! That was made even more obvious by how much farther the field was from the football seating arrangement under the fortunately-closed roof. The crowd was at least into the game.

I haven't seen the published attendance, paid or actual bums in seats, but if the number is over 32,000, I think someone is lying. People gripe about the ticket prices. Funny how they don't do that so much about the overpriced ones for a decades-losers NHL team, but I digress. Sure, they were on the pricey side, but guess what, NFL "fans" - IF (and it will never happen) Toronto had an NFL team, this isn't far from what tickets would cost. Yes, Buffalo Bills home tickets are far less expensive, but Buffalo has the lowest ticket prices. Pick a metro market of four or five million in the US, and the prices go up. Toronto is, or wants to be considers as, a "big city". Say hi to "big city" prices for pro sports, folks. Besides, Toronto will never get an NFL team. More than any other pro sports league, the NFL is all about marketing. There is virtually zero marketing value in the US to having a Canadian team in the league. I am not an Argos fan, but they played some very good football this year, and won the championship. The Toronto Argonauts deserve more support from southern Ontarians than the sad-sack Buffalo Bills do. For alleged Bills fans, enjoy them while they're still in Buffalo. I agree with the betting line that they're gone when Ralph Wilson dies.

The game was okay. The Bills need a defence more than the Hamilton Tiger-Cats did this year. The experience of attending the game was good, even if the "buzz" was not as good as being at a game in Hamilton or Winnipeg (where I saw games this year). Note that I am talking about the game, not about tail-gating. I'm there for the game. Now I have finally seen an NFL game, but still have to see one played in the US to knock that off my sports "to do" list. Up at the top of my list are a Formula1 race and a regular season footy (AFL) game.

December 21, 2012 @ 10:02 AM


Ah, REM... America's Tragically Hip.

December 21, 2012 @ 10:20 AM


At the risk of feeding your ego, you've had two Toronto radio stories before the mainstream media this past week.

You were right about Bookie and you were right about Bill Carroll returning to AM640.

So kudos to you.

December 21, 2012 @ 10:26 AM

Mississauga Phil

@ Mike - The Shell gas station at Dundass & 403 in Mississauga still does free air. It is coin-op because that was the mandate from head office, however if you go into the station and ask them to tun the compressor on, they will. All the attendants say the guy that runs the station is against charging for air.

December 21, 2012 @ 10:32 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Mississauga Phil

Now that's a protip!

December 21, 2012 @ 10:34 AM

Sam in Pickering

Is anyone else surprised Irvine has kept his promise?

Does anyone miss Irvine?

December 21, 2012 @ 10:35 AM


It's the Eve of Festivus Eve. I get so excited around this time of year!

December 21, 2012 @ 10:42 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Time to get the pole out of the crawl space!

December 21, 2012 @ 10:45 AM


It won't be the end of the world. This world ending stuff is a bunch of hogwash. It's not going to happen. It's made up stuff. Well, Grocery Gateway delivered all my items this week. That's great, but they need to be consistent. Anyway, my Suns won four in a row which is wonderful. Let's make it five with a win tomorrow over Portland. Now they're canceling more hockey games. There won't be a season. I don't see how there can be. Oh well, curling regionals is the weekend of January 5.

December 21, 2012 @ 10:52 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I don't think anyone believed the Mayans were right. I certainly don't know anyone who did.

I think it was a good excuse to crack some "end of the world" jokes and have fun with it. Nobody believed today wouldn't happen.

I'm glad your Suns won 4 in a row. My Raps have done the same. Believe it or not.

The NHL can bite me.

December 21, 2012 @ 10:54 AM

Irvnie (but not really)

I'm back Bitches!!!

I'm like Bloody Mary or Beatlejuice...say my name and I appear....

December 21, 2012 @ 10:55 AM

Missisasuga Phil

@ Mike - Glad I could help...however I'm willing to bet that the border of Misissauga and Oakville is a little far to go for free air for a lot of your readers.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE...oh yeah...I said it.

December 21, 2012 @ 10:57 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Missisasuga Phil

You can say that here. You can also say Happy Holidays, Season's Greetings and Freaky Friday.

The borderline of Mississauga and Oakville is just a little out of my biking range...

December 21, 2012 @ 11:13 AM


Merry Christmas to everyone and happy holidays to those that celebrate something else.

Thanks for having this site Mike. I still love that you have a passion for writing about the city you still live in and love.

Loving the podcast... can't wait to the re-invite and don't hesitate to keep asking about gear, mics and crap. I love chatting about that stuff.


December 21, 2012 @ 11:23 AM


dig the podcast too - keep that up pls

merry xmas all

December 21, 2012 @ 11:42 AM


@Ryan G - Well-said.

We're past Chanukah (which I know is applicable to at least one person who reads and contributes), so Merry Christmas, Happy Festivus and best wishes to all of you and your families.

December 21, 2012 @ 11:43 AM

Not a Jew

Where are all the Jews at?

December 21, 2012 @ 11:54 AM

4x4 Time

The NRA solution to the Newtown tragedy is to ask Congress to staff US schools with armed cops.

The CEO of the NRA - "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun"


December 21, 2012 @ 11:59 AM

Mississauga Phil

@ 4x4 - unfortunatley that's the kind of rhetoric you hear out of right wing nutballs...people who will use tragedies such as this to further their own political agendas. 20 children were killed by a whackjob with an automatic rifle, and the right winggers will defend to the death their right to own said's just sick

December 21, 2012 @ 12:52 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@4x4 Time

I guess that explains why most of these mass shooting murders turn the gun on themselves before being arrested.

December 21, 2012 @ 12:53 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I need you to buy it all, help set it up with me and teach me how to use it. I'll pay for it all, of course, and welcome you as a guest whenever you're in the T. Dot. :)

December 21, 2012 @ 1:05 PM

In the know

I don't think you will see Irvine return to these parts ladies and germs. He apparently has gone to work as a computer security analyst for a private investigation firm. He disappeared from several sites including a radio forum he had been part of for years.

I know Irvine in an online way. I asked him why the disappearance and name change. He replied it was work related and part of his employment contract. While he never directly admits it, I am sure he is part of Anonymous. He makes references that that stuff frequently. Shocker of all shockers, he also recently got married. I read that on Quad Cities radio forum.

December 21, 2012 @ 1:14 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Irvine and I exchange emails now and then. Before departing, he was kinder and gentler and more sensible than he once was. Maybe that's the influence of Irvine falling in love and finding happiness with someone.

And yes, he says he left the comments b/c of his IT security job which forbids online commenting, etc. And he hasn't commented since, even though he has emailed me.

December 21, 2012 @ 1:25 PM


Anytime... I don't think we'll be having NHL this season so my schedule will be open except for my curling.

I'm more than happy to spend other people's money and I'd be more than happy to show you how to use it.... it's what I do.

I'd be more than happy to rejoin you and Ms. Rosie when I get to the city. I can always make a special trip in too.

BTW: The Low rocked the 'Shoe last night. 1045-115am. Awesome night.

December 21, 2012 @ 1:36 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I'm completely serious about this. I'll cover every dime.

Our Lowest of the Low show ended just before 1am. I'm jealous of the bonus 15 minutes you got!

Wanna see Rusty with me next week?

December 21, 2012 @ 1:39 PM


In reference to Irvine being married, I will paraphrase Stewie Griffin: "Oh, he's married. What's his name? HA! Do you see? Do you see that? Do you see what I did? I made it seem as though you were a homosexual. That's funny to me."

God, I miss him....

December 21, 2012 @ 1:41 PM

Irvine (But Not Really)

I miss you too Argue...I mean Argie.

But alas, I am off doing my thing on the web...paying more in taxes than most of you make in a year....

Irvine Out!!

December 21, 2012 @ 2:54 PM

In the know

I am a female and employed in the radio industry. If you are in radio you have probably faced the wrath of Irvine. I came to respect him after someone wrote a nasty, ignorant comment about me because I was a woman in radio. He kicked in the proverbial door of the forum, posted the video for Let's Get It Up and turned on those who made the ignorant comments. He started naming them by their real names and the end result was the thread was deleted entirely.

He certainly has a hate on for that church that was picketing the funerals of those children. Some of the stuff he posts has me snorting my Timmies out my nose. They deserve everything too. They are picketing the funerals of children, that is sickening.

December 21, 2012 @ 3:02 PM


Remember when this sounded ridiculous and funny.....

December 21, 2012 @ 3:05 PM


I'll charge you my usual non-paying consultant fee of a fine bottle of Crown Royal. Paying my fee would completely screw up my billing!!!

I'd love to see Rusty, however, Kerri and I have boatload of people staying over the next 8 days. When you've been working Christmas/New Years for the past 5 years, when you get the time off, people tend to leap! Mind you, thinking of being in Ufa, Russia doesn't sound that appealing to me. It's going to be -25- -30 the whole time they're there. NO THANKS! I've been to Whitehorse, I don't need to be that cold again.

The show was great. Seeing their old manager John on stage was awesome. He is a cool dude and super nice. Hard to believe they played Ryerson in '92 at the Eyeopener.

December 21, 2012 @ 3:06 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Nice find. I just read the NRA speech - it's nuts.

December 21, 2012 @ 3:15 PM


Anyone else think "in the know" is Irvine? Remembered pulled the same sad stunt, posting a heart-string puller about how great Irvine is under the name "Tim C" or some name?
And yes, ol Irv used to bend over backwards hinting he was part of Anonymous, apparently completely missing the point of belonging to an anonymous group. Always used to give me a chuckle.

December 21, 2012 @ 4:39 PM


My girlfriend keeps snatching up my jeans and washing them. I hate freshly washed jeans they are stiff and scratchy. What is the acceptable amount of times a guy can where jeans without washing them.? I say 5 unless I get a mustard stain....

December 21, 2012 @ 5:06 PM


Everything Ryan G said! Happy and Merry Christmas/Festivus to all of you. Hugs, Rosie

December 21, 2012 @ 5:09 PM


Yes,it's great my Suns won. Anyway, I don't see how there can be hockey this season. It won't happen all because of the stupid lockout. I want baseball to be locked out instead. Baseball is such a boring game.

December 21, 2012 @ 6:31 PM


Did anybody hear Dereks redo of a Christmas carol with Uncle D......that was hilarious. Take some quiet time this week. Read a book. Listen to amazing music. Spend a day with somebody you love. We are so lucky and blessed to be living in this amazing country. We do not celebrate it nearly enough

December 21, 2012 @ 6:32 PM


I don't go by number of times worn, but more of number of total hours worn. Not sure what that number is though. It's just a feeling.

Coloured stain = end of use cycle.
Baggy knees = end of use cycle
Sustained creases behind knees = end of use cycle.

December 21, 2012 @ 6:52 PM

Rick C in Oakville

@Dave: Washed and dried jeans for me, take too long to get flexible and comfortable to wear as far as I'm concerned. I prefer to wash them when they are starting to get grungy, not a regular cycle of wearing them 3 times and then wash etc.
@Mike: I'm with James on the cereal favourite, Frosted Flakes are GGGGRRREATTT!! even to a +50 year old male.
Everyone have a safe and Merry Christmas, off to the North boxing day to get some R&R at my sisters cottage, fingers crossed for snow!

December 21, 2012 @ 7:59 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Forgot to mention, glad Mike got the scoop on Bill Carrol coming back to Toronto airwaves, you seem to be the radio media's go to guy, sort of like Mikey-Leaks.
Looking forward to hearing him again, even though I know many won't. Haven't heard Humble and Freds show today, but see they have a chat with him from the description on Itunes I just downloaded.

December 21, 2012 @ 8:04 PM


Merry Christmas to ALL & a healthy & prosperous New Year.

December 21, 2012 @ 9:25 PM


@Rick C haha Mikey-Leaks! that's a good one. I liked Bill as well, I will listen to him again.

@dave I also have a laundry-zealous partner and my favourite skinny jeans are too crunchy right now. I can't complain though because I don't want to do the laundry :)

@Anon&on I love your end-of-use cycle criteria! "coloured stain" made me laugh out loud!

December 21, 2012 @ 9:50 PM


@Rosie @Dave
I had this situation last weekend!
Newly washed jeans. 6 hour road trip to visit relatives (mother, grandmother).
6 hours in a car x2 (return trip) = possibly coffee drips on thigh, baggy knee/creases.
Made the first visit fine (mother). But visiting Grandma (in wheelchair at knee hight) who I hadn't seen for 6 months+, I leaned on the bumper to get something out of the trunk and got two big (dollar bill sized) black marks on my knees!
I was a passenger, no change of clothes. I brushed off as much dirt as possible, fade to grey, and faked it. In my own car, I would carry an extra pair of jeans + t-shirt for emergency. Funny thing is- the extra jeans are old, with stains/marks that won't wash out, but they are clean never worn. I consider those stains as part of the garment, perfectly fine to wear, no conscience nagging me. But dirt on 'good' jeans is unacceptable. I have to blame my mother.

December 21, 2012 @ 10:27 PM


This is a post to all my fellow sartorialists and/or lazy dressers (admittedly the union is a very small Venn group).
I've had to pull a few long nights recently (learn WebLogic scripting in 2 days! no problem!) so fashion has dropped a few quantum levels. You know the slightly wet/dirty feeling that jeans get after wearing them for 4 (or 8?) wearings? Well, my new'ish Filson X Levi's jeans that I picked up on a recent baseball trip to Seattle have made washing jeans nearly obsolete. I've been able to wear these things 10 days in a row with no sign of wear/tear. The material is called tin cloth and it is fantastic - looks great and still smells terrific.

Don't let the price scare you off. These are goin' to be my old-man jeans. Perhaps I'll even die in them.

December 21, 2012 @ 11:59 PM


Suns at Portland tonight. Let's hope my suns win the fifth in a row. That would be great. The Raptors won again as well though. I'm not a Raptors fan. It's Suns all the way when it comes to basketball. I love my Phoenix Suns.

December 22, 2012 @ 8:06 AM

4x4 Time

What? You can wash jeans? I thought you just bought new ones...

December 22, 2012 @ 8:32 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I'm not sure I could spend $156 on a pair of pants.

December 22, 2012 @ 12:37 PM

Blind Dave

Am I the only one who loves hardass, crinkly jeans? I love that fresh-washed, hung on the line to dry feeling of clothes (even undies).

My son, on the other hand, whacks his jeans on the side of his bed to loosen them up. I remember the first time I heard that noise and my thought was, "Do I want to know what he is doing up there?!?"

December 22, 2012 @ 1:42 PM


@Gump those Levi's look awesome. Jeans are worth the money because most people wear them so much. You can justify more $ because of the cost per wear. Coffee stain does not equal end-of-use cycle for me on jeans. We are going to discuss raw denim on the next podcast. It will be the fashion episode.

December 22, 2012 @ 3:53 PM


My Suns lost last night by three measly points. That sucks. Well, they play the Clippers tonight. They better win, believe me.

December 23, 2012 @ 7:55 AM

Dawn Keibals

I bet the farm on the Clippers tonight minus 5 points.

December 23, 2012 @ 10:47 AM

Mike Oxlong

Go clippers!

December 23, 2012 @ 12:20 PM

Dawn Keibals

I just sold some livestock this afternoon and placed it all on the Clippers minus 3 1/2

December 23, 2012 @ 5:23 PM


My Cardinals lost today. That's no good. Clippers are leading, but the game is close. I didn't know there were so many Clippers fans on this board. Go Suns. I need my Suns to win.

December 23, 2012 @ 8:36 PM

Dawn Keibals

So the Clippers won a nail biting squeaker by 26 points last night. Won both my wagers.Now Granmama can get that operation. Thank you Suns.

December 24, 2012 @ 6:10 AM


That was awful. My Suns got clobbered. Well, New York Knicks at my Suns on Wednesday. That's hopefully going to be a Suns win. I need them to win.

December 24, 2012 @ 4:49 PM


Merry Christmas everyone!!

December 25, 2012 @ 2:52 PM

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